A breakthrough - three million free N95 and KN95 masks for Victorians

Burnet Institute

09 August, 2022

Image: Önder Örtel/Unsplash

Burnet supports the Victorian State Government’s announcement of free N95 and KN95 masks to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses this winter.

Despite Victoria reaching the peak recently of the latest COVID-19 Omicron wave, there are still more than 670 people in hospital recovering from the effects of the virus.

Burnet Institute Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC described the Victorian Government announcement as “a breakthrough.”

“Along with prior ventilation initiatives, this to promote, provide for free, and educate about how to use high quality (N95/KN94) masks blazes a trail in Australia that all jurisdictions should follow and build upon.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas today announced that more than three million masks will be handed out to the community through state-run testing sites, community health services and the public transport network.

Over the next four to six weeks every person that presents for either a free rapid antigen or PCR test will receive one box of 10 N95 masks, along with instructions on how best to wear them to reduce transmission.

Masks will also be distributed through some of Victoria’s community organisations including at multicultural, multi-faith events and Aboriginal gatherings as well as through a number of disability service providers.

In addition, more masks will be available from PTV hubs and staffed train stations while authorised officers and some V/Line conductors will carry masks with them to hand out as needed.

Professor Crabb has spoken frequently about the three things we need to do to reduce COVID-19 transmission:

1. Get vaccinated

2. Breathe clean air or wear a mask if you can’t

3. Isolate if you test positive to COVID-19.

“Providing masks free of charge to those who need them most will help them protect themselves, their loved ones, and Victoria’s hardworking healthcare workers,” Premier Andrews said.

“Wearing a mask, staying up-to-date with your vaccinations and ensuring indoor areas are well ventilated are all steps Victorians and businesses can take to manage their own COVID-19 risk this winter and into the future,” Health Minister Thomas said.

Click here to read the full Victorian Government announcement.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Burnet Institute

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