Sheriff Mark Garton with PPE

Polk County Sheriff Mark Garton is asking for the public's help with making face masks.

The green bags to the left contain masks someone donated on April 9. The blue tub on the right contains mask-making kits that will be distributed on April 1..

DALLAS — The Polk County Sheriff's Office will distribute 350 mask-making kits at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 11.

Sheriff Mark Garton asked for the public's help in a Facebook Live event on the PCSO Facebook page Wednesday.

Each package contains materials to make three masks.

“The way the process works for emergency management is all these different private nonprofit groups, anything like that, they submit requests into Polk County Emergency Management and then we try to fill them the best we can,” Garton said. “We've sent out thousands of PPEs all over the county. Those are running low.”

Garton said they are not sure when they are going to get more from the state or federal government.

“We've got to try to make due with what we have and we're asking for help from the public,” he said. “If there is anything that you can donate, that would be much appreciated.”

Garton also addressed some comments viewers posted.

“One question was about toilet paper,” he said. “We don't control the toilet paper. I know that the stores in here in Dallas have gotten them in on a regular basis, you've just got to be there.”

He said one way to know which stores have toilet paper is to check community groups on Facebook.

“I've been told that that supply will end up catching up it's just going to be a while,” Garton said. “Take what you need from a store, don't hoard. Don't hoard food or supplies like that. It hurts everyone else who's trying to get those things as well.”

Garton also encouraged people to exercise.

“You can go out, exercise outdoors,” he said. “Just make sure you keep your social distancing because that is really about slowing the spread. Do everything you can. Wash your hands. Don't touch your face”

“I think I've already done it a couple of times during this video. Need to wash my hands before and after,” he added.

Masks will be available to people who need them, he said.

“We've never done this before so we'll keep trying different ways to reach out to you and figure out if there's things you guys need,” Garton said. “I know the uncertainty of this situation is stressful.

There's questions you can ask of us. Send us a message on our Facebook page. There is someone that monitors that.”

Pick up a mask-making kit

When: 10 a.m., Saturday, April 11

Where: The Polk County Sheriff's Office, 850 Main St., Dallas

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