McDonald's will donate one million N95 masks across Illinois as the state battles a growing number of coronavirus cases, the fast food chain announced Monday.
The masks will first go to first responders and healthcare professionals "in our home city and state where critical protective gear is in short supply," McDonald's said in a release.
"Our company has a deep bond with the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois and we feel a profound sense of gratitude for the healthcare workers serving our community. While sourcing supplies for our restaurant crew, we were fortunate to have come across these critical items so we can get them into the hands of people who need them," the company said in a statement.
Of the one million masks, 750,000 will be distributed in Chicago, where the company's global headquarters is located, and another 250,000 will go to the rest of the state.
“The health and safety of all residents, and in particular our healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines, remains the City’s top priority as we continue responding to the COVID-19 public health crisis,” Chicago Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement. “I want to thank McDonald’s Corporation for heeding the call to donate supplies and helping us protect workers with the highest exposure to this virus. We are thankful and proud to have a hometown hero like McDonald’s as our partner during this time.”
McDonald’s previously donated $1 million and 400,000 KF94 masks to Illinois' COVID-19 fund as the world's largest hamburger chain closed its restaurants for dine-in, offering only drive-thru, delivery and takeout in most locations across the country.
Illinois has reported 11,256 confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. In all, 71 of the state's 102 counties are now reporting cases and a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect through the end of April.
Already, the Illinois is bringing back online once-shuttered hospitals and has transformed Chicago's McCormick Place convention center into an alternate care facility for patients with mild symptoms.
The federal government also announced over the weekend that Illinois would be receiving more supplies like N95 masks, test kits and ventilators to help treat patients and keep health care workers safe.
“We continue to track down every piece of protective gear we can find for the brave healthcare workers and first responders fighting COVID-19,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “We’re grateful to companies like McDonald’s, based in Chicago, for stepping up and mobilizing its global resources to locate 250,000 additional N95 medical grade masks, which will be distributed to those who need it most in Illinois.”