By MADDY VITALE
Ocean City is proving that it is being proactive in the fight against COVID-19 with a hefty purchase price of more than $200,000 to provide masks to any resident or visitor who may need one.
In a City Council resolution at the June 11 meeting, the governing body approved the purchase of 218,000 surgical masks for a total of $215,620.
“The masks are available to the public on the Boardwalk at the Music Pier and at welcome centers throughout town,” explained Public Information Officer Doug Bergen. “They will be distributed to anybody who needs one at city events.”
Bergen noted, “The city has separately purchased other PPE, including gloves and plexiglass barriers for public buildings.”
Mayor Jay Gillian has continually stated that residents and visitors to the resort have a responsibility to maintain social distance from strangers and to use common sense.
In his June 19 statement to the public, Gillian said, “Summer officially arrives tomorrow, and as our seasonal population increases, I want to remind everybody of the importance of self-responsibility.”
He continued, “The city is doing its best to promote awareness, to provide equipment and to enforce what we can. But ultimately it comes down to you. I want to ask everybody to do their part to protect the health and safety of the entire community. I know it can be uncomfortable and an inconvenience, but I would like to see a lot more face coverings – in crowded spaces outside and in all public spaces inside.”
The mayor emphasized that the complimentary face masks are available at the Ocean City Music Pier and at all city welcome centers. They also will be made available at city events this summer.
“Please make it a habit to always have one on hand and to use it,” he said.
Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, commended the efforts to provide PPE to residents and tourists.
“Safety has always been a priority in Ocean City,” she said Wednesday. “The city, the Chamber of Commerce and businesses have all been working together to provide our guests with a safe vacation.”