As part of the effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, the city of Lakeland is offering free face masks at six locations starting Thursday. Up to three masks per person are available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at:

  • Simpson Park Community Center – 1725 Martin L King Jr. Ave.
  • Lakeland Main Library – 100 Lake Morton Drive
  • Lakeland Larry Jackson Branch Library – 1700 N. Florida Ave.
  • Lakeland Police Department Lobby – 219 N. Massachusetts Ave.
  • Kelly Recreation Complex/Gandy Pool – 404 Imperial Blvd.
  • Coleman-Bush Building – 1104 Martin L King Jr. Ave.

City commissioners voted 5-2 earlier this month to require masks in indoor spaces within Lakeland city limits (other than residences) where people aren’t able to maintain 6-foot distance. The mandate lasts until Aug. 3 and can be renewed by the commission.

There are 12 exceptions, including children under 8, people eating or drinking, and people with health conditions that preclude facial coverings. (Learn more about the exceptions.)

The masks were purchased by Polk County government as part of its allotment of federal CARES Act funds. The reusable masks are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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