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First Coast Connect

Masks4Jax; CARES Act; Local Farmers; Families in Lockdown

Photo of People wearing facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Martin Meissner
Associated Press
People wearing facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic.



On Wednesday’s episode of First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, we discussed Masks4Jax.

Related: Local, State And National Coronavirus Coverage


Mask4Jax is a grassroots movement in Jacksonville to help to spread awareness for the public 

on the use of non-medical face masks.


The organization is distributing 30,000 cloth, non-medical masks to locally-owned restaurants around the city. They have also partnered with the city of Jacksonville to distribute 350,000 masks through Meals on Wheels school lunch program and through homeless shelters. Chief of Cardiology at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside, Dr. Saumil Oza, and Jonathan Insetta, owner of Black Sheep, Orsay and Bellwether joined us with more details about the movement. 



The CARES Act's purpose is to reduce the growth of unemployment, help small businesses retain employees, and enable them to rebound quickly after the pandemic is under control. Some of the loans are considered “forgivable,” meaning they won’t have to be repaid. Business attorney Houston Barnes discussed the issues surrounding the program as many business owners have not been able to access funds. 


Farmers and COVID-19

Lauren Titus, the editor of Edible Northeast Florida, shared some of the challenges local farmers are facing, and the changes they are implementing in response to the coronavirus. She also shared ways to help local farms.

Families in Lockdown 

Emily McCarthy, chief of staff at GORUCK, shared her family’s story of how they are coping during the coronavirus shut down. McCarthy also provided tips for at home activities that will keep the family active and having fun together.


Sarah Glenn can be reached at, 904-358-6317


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