Covid 19

BTV Community Mask Initiative

The City has launched a community effort to produce and distribute high-quality masks to any Burlingtonian who wants one.

The availability of supplies, masks included, has been one of the major issues of the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued guidance to recommend face coverings, Mayor Miro Weinberger asked the City's Analytics Team to look into the value of widespread community mask use. Next, in order to preserve medical-grade masks for frontline healthcare workers, the City launched an effort to produce masks.

The City's effort started by producing and distributing masks to any essential worker in Burlington who requested one. Now, we are moving to phase two, and distributing these BTV Community Masks to any Burlingtonian who wants one, with the goal of fully meeting the need by May 15.

We are beginning this next phase by prioritizing the most vulnerable, and are distributing masks through nursing homes, the Burlington School District's meal sites, Howard Center, Burlington Housing Authority, COTS, and other non-profit housing partners for their higher-risk residents.

We also are distributing masks -- free! -- at select times:

Schedule for week of May 18 and for the foreseeable future:

  • Tuesdays, 8am to 2pm at the Burlington Police Department, South Entrance

  • Wednesdays, 4 to 8pm at the Fletcher Free Library

  • Thursdays, 8am to 2pm at the Burlington Police Department, South Entrance

  • Saturdays, Noon to 4pm at the Fletcher Free Library

This truly is a community effort. Thank you to the amazing partners who have made this initiative possible.

  • Production: Lyric Theatre Company, Vermont Teddy Bear, Milton Artists' Guild, City Councilor Joan Shannon, hundreds of community sewers, and others
  • Distribution: Burlington Police Department, Burlington Resource & Recovery Center, and others

Additional background:

  • More than 20,000 masks made and distributed to more than 80 organizations as of May 15
  • Launched this initiative after initial conversations with regional medical partners, sourced 1,400 yards of  "bull denim" (a thick fabric) and lighter cottons in partnership with local fabric store Rags & Riches, and partnered with the Lyric Theatre Company and Milton Artists' Guild to help create prototype masks and Gadues to help clean them
  • Added partnerships with Vermont Teddy Bear, hundreds of community sewers, Queen City Dry Goods, and many others to help scale production

How can you be involved?

  • If you have the skills to participate in this effort, please contact the Resource and Recovery Center at or 802-755-7239
  • If your organization is an essential service and needs masks, please contact the Resource and Recovery Center. Please coordinate within your organization first so that we do not get multiple or conflicting requests
  • The City wants to make the design we are using available to home sewers anywhere. Below are resources for a facemask design that can be created using either denim or cotton

Other mask resources:


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.  However, these masks do not replace the need for social distancing; it is critical to maintain six-foot social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.