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Need a mask? Tampa is offering them for free

Health experts agree: Wearing a mask can help to limit the spread of COVID-19.

TAMPA, Fla. — Update: The City of Tampa has announced that its free mask distribution sites are now closed. The sites, that have been operating since June 20, have handed out more than 400,000 masks to the community, according to the city.

"Thank you for practicing COVID-19 safety to protect our vulnerable neighbors. Remember, wear a face covering, wash your hands & practice social distancing," the city wrote on Twitter.

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It's now a requirement for people who live in Tampa to wear a face covering while inside a public space and cannot properly social distance.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, leaning on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the number of COVID-19 cases rise, said people can limit the spread of the virus by wearing a mask or face covering.

For those who don't yet have one, the city is giving them away.

"The data is unquestionable: if we wear masks, we can stop the spread of this virus—that’s the bottom line," Castor said in a news release. "Our community is looking for leadership which is why we are putting this mandatory mask ordinance in effect to protect our citizens. 

"If we wait, more people will get sick and more lives will be lost. This is an emergency and we have to act now."

The following locations will pass out two masks per person in a car starting Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice:

People can face a civil citation of up to $500 for not wearing a covering in an indoor public spot.

More than 120,000 face coverings were passed out this weekend, the city said.

RELATED: What do Tampa and St. Pete's new face mask rules mean?

RELATED: 2 elected Tampa officials test positive for COVID-19

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