Article updated at 5:16 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5:
Similar to the way we held out on creating our COVID-19 stat dashboard — hoping back when we launched in March that it wouldn’t be necessary — we weren’t eager to brand masks as part of our merchandise.
But with the delta variant still spreading quickly, and with just enough reader requests over the past few months, the Times has added masks to its growing collection of merchandise.
Any proceeds we receive from masks purchased will be distributed to one or more local grassroots organizations that help underserved and marginalized people in Lawrence and Douglas County. We’ll let you know which one(s) after we can talk to organizers and determine where the immediate needs are greatest. (We previously said our proceeds from mask sales through Sept. 15 would be donated, but we have decided to drop that deadline and donate all mask sale proceeds.)
Health professionals locally and across the country are increasingly pushing for mask-wearing to be the norm until the highly contagious delta variant is brought under control and COVID-19 stops its rapid spread.
If we have to wear masks, they might as well be stylish. And if the Times can help slow the spread here in Lawrence, that’s even better.
Masks are available in black or white, and they feature the publication’s logo. Small and large sizes are available. Click here to order your masks now from Ryte T’s, the small business in Lawrence that makes all of our merch.
Click here to see the rest of our merch selection, including T-shirts, a mug, totes, magnets and more.
Health professionals are also encouraging anyone who has not yet been vaccinated get their shot as soon as possible. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to anyone ages 12 and up, regardless of insurance status. You don’t have to have a photo ID.