Effort advances city’s equity goals by helping to eliminate barriers to access

Library Mask Distribution

With an eye toward equity and a focus on overcoming barriers, the City of Boulder’s Emergency Response Connectors and nonprofit partners distributed 5,000 KN95 masks to community members in February. This targeted distribution honors the city’s equity goals by supporting individuals who may otherwise find it challenging to access these critical items.

The city has distributed an additional 10,000 KN95 masks to the general public in January through the Free KN95 Mask Program at the Boulder Public Library. Masks have been a key piece of pandemic recovery efforts, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention considers wearing a mask to be an impactful strategy in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Ensuring equity has been a consistent thread in the city’s pandemic response. Last year, the city focused its recovery efforts on COVID-19 vaccines, making sure that all community members who wanted the vaccine were able to get it, including people with barriers to access such as our unhoused community members, communities of color and Latino populations.

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted many community members with low incomes, who may lack trust or familiarity with health systems, or have been disenfranchised due to race or ethnicity,” said Housing and Human Services Manager Elizabeth Crowe. “We are proud to be able to play a critical role in our community’s pandemic response by providing these items where they are most needed.”

The city also used the equity lens to distribute 276 COVID-19 free rapid at-home tests to community members as part of the state's test distribution program. COVID-19 testing continue to be essential pieces of the area’ pandemic response. Prompt and accurate testing remains vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19 because the results allow public health official to understand and respond to its presence in our community.

The City of Boulder remains committed to ensuring community safety, curbing the spread of COVID-19 in our community and will continue its work to build toward an equitable pandemic recovery. Visit our partner, Boulder County Public Health, for information on vaccine clinics, testing, public health orders, current case numbers and more.