As a reminder for residents to stay vigilant and safe, more than 3,500 COVID-19 care packages will be going out to the Poughkeepsie community as part of the “Mask Up PK” initiative. Each care package will contain informational flyers, hand sanitizer, and a mask.

Common Council Member Sarah Brannen said the Council launched the initiative late last year—as COVID-19 rates began climbing again—as a way to remind residents that continuing to wear a mask and abiding by social distancing guidelines is important to stopping the spread and keeping the community safe.

“The Common Council’s Mask Up PK initiative is to let everyone in the community know that we care about your health and safety,” Brannen said. “There is an end in sight with several vaccines rolling out, but we need everyone to stay vigilant in protecting themselves and their neighbors until we are on the other side of this pandemic.”

Councilmember Sarah Brannen (Ward 4) organizing the Mask Up PK care packages.
Councilmember Sarah Brannen (Ward 4) organizing the Mask Up PK care packages.

After conducting research, Brannen pulled together an online list from the county’s website of COVID-19 testing sites and created a hard copy list of these sites, which will be especially helpful for people who might not have consistent internet access or know where to find this information, she said.

Additionally, “stop the spread” flyers were printed in English and Spanish from the CDC website as a reminder about how to practice social distancing. Brannen worked with the city’s purchasing department to source hand sanitizer, adult masks, and children’s masks to put into the care packages.

“We all need to continue to socially distance and mask up,” Brannen added.

Altogether, there will be 3,560 care packages going out to residents in the community. The masks come in all colors and designs, Brannen added, and the kids’ masks have designs such as dinosaurs, stripes, stars, tie-dye, camouflage, and more.

The Council members who contributed ward funds to this initiative and who will be distributing the care packages include Evan Menist, 2nd Ward; Sarah Brannen, 4th Ward; Yvonne Flowers, 5th Ward; Natasha Cherry, 6th Ward; Randall Johnson, 7th Ward; and Matthew McNamara, 8th Ward. Residents who would like to receive COVID-19 care packages may email or call any of the Council members who are participating in the initiative. Contact information can be found online at

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