ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Beginning early next week, protective masks will be mailed out to households throughout the City of Rochester, officials announced Friday.

“We know that many of our residents need masks, and we have required them to wear masks out in public, so we wanted to do this in the safest, efficient and effective way possible and mailing was the best way to do it,” said Mayor Lovely Warren during a Friday Zoom press conference.

Officials say nearly 96,000 homes will receive five masks each for a total distribution of 480,000 masks. Officials add an additional 20,000 masks will be reserved to support public health efforts, as well as reopening activities and will be provided to businesses, churches and apartments as needed.

“Protecting our residents is always my top priority. These masks will allow our residents to keep themselves safe, protect their circle and our entire community,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in a press release. “I urge everyone to continue to do the right thing and follow the guidance of our public health professionals. We can and will recover together from this crisis.”

The masks were provided to the City from the Monroe County stockpile, according to officials.

“The masks are being given to the City of Rochester form the County of Monroe, they purchased purchased about 8 million masks and they are gracious enough to share their allocations with the City of Rochester and all the surrounding towns and suburbs,” Mayor Warren said. “So definitely want to thank them for purchasing this and being able to help us get masks to our citizens.”

MORE | Monroe County to distribute 1 million masks, face coverings with help from federal funding

Officials say City-based firms, including Panther Graphics, Canfield & Tack and Diversipack will partner with the City to complete and expedite the mailing. The total cost of the mailing, including postage, is $168,754 or approximately $1.75 per piece, according to a press release.

“Being able to utilize one of several of our local companies in our region to distribute the masks and them being able to employ people and keep people employed is something that we appreciate,” Mayor Warren said.

Officials say the masks will start being mailed out early next week.

“Our community and government have truly come together during this crisis to serve people who are struggling,” the Mayor said in a press release. “However, we know that many people remain unaware of the help available to them. This mailing provides information on food assistance, financial help, mental health and other services.”

The mayor said the mailed masks will also include an envelope to help residents fill out the Census form as the pandemic has slowed some from filling it out.

“The pandemic has also stopped many people from focusing on the importance of the Census to our city,” Mayor Warren said in the press release. “We will deliver the message loud and clear that our residents need to step up and be counted. Each person who completes the 2020 Census means Rochester will receive $26,000 more each year for things we need like health care, education and emergency services.”

Local mask distribution sites