HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A West End insurance company distributed more than 1,000 free masks to help ease the minds of senior citizens Saturday.
The giveaway was hosted by Craig Rasmusson and his staff at Active Medicare Solutions in Henrico.
"We are a Medicare insurance agency, so we really dedicate every day to our seniors in this community," Rasmusson said.
One by one seniors pulled up to get a mask or two Saturday morning.
"At 9:30 there was a line all the way down the road," Rasmusson said.
Rasmusson said the masks were donated by a friend.
"So the whole idea came about because my friend Ryan was able to procure these from overseas," Rasmusson explained.
With hospitals facing shortages of PPE, Rasmusson and his team were able to give several thousand to hospitals and first responders, before giving more than 1,500 to seniors.
"There’s a lot of anxiety in the senior community, a lot of fear," Rasmusson said. "There’s a lot of uncertainty.”
According to the Virginia Department of Health, older adults are at higher risk for COVID-19. Sadly, more than 300 people age 65 and older have died from coronavirus-linked illnesses in Virginia.
"Not only is the mask to help protect them from the coronavirus or from them spreading it," Rasmusson said. "But what it’s really doing is giving them a peace of mind."
Rasmusson ran out of masks during the event, but said he hopes to get more. When they do, Active Medicare Solutions staffers will post that information on their Facebook page.
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Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.