Village of Northbrook distributes masks to residents Thursday, April 30

Megan Fahrney, Executive Sports Editor

The Village of Northbrook will hold a second mask distribution that is scheduled to take place tomorrow, April 30, beginning at 8 a.m. for seniors ages 65 and older and at 9 a.m. for residents of all ages. The distribution will take place at Northbrook Court outside of AMC Theatres.

The first distribution took place on Thursday, April 23. Northbrook residents lined up in their cars and received masks from the Village at a parking lot across from the 7-Eleven off of Shermer Road. Up to four masks per vehicle were handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Distribution last Thursday was scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Village President Sandy Frum said in a phone interview that cars began lining up at around 7 a.m., blocking the flow of traffic on Shermer Road and other streets, so volunteers began distributing early at about 9:30 a.m. Mask supply ran out at about noon. 

According to Frum, the Village planned on having more than one distribution because it knew it would receive the masks from the supplier in waves. 

On April 17, Frum issued a Supplemental Order requiring the use of face coverings while performing essential activities in Northbrook, effective April 20. Frum’s Supplemental Order was issued before Gov. J.B. Pritzker established a face-covering requirement in Illinois in his revised stay-at-home order, effective May 1. 

The Supplemental Order lists bandanas, homemade masks, scarves and handkerchiefs as alternative face covering options, among others.

Senior Ethan Levy said in a phone interview that he left his house at about 9:30 a.m. last Thursday to pick up masks for his family and immediately realized that the line of cars for masks extended to the Bank of America on Shermer Road. Levy took a detour to Walters Ave., where he waited in a line of cars that reached Sanders Road. He was then redirected down side streets until he reached the parking lot where volunteers distributed the masks.

“It basically took an hour in line to spend five minutes in the parking lot,” Levy said.

Sophomore Jenna Ciesla, who volunteered to hand out masks, said in a phone interview that proper safety precautions were taken, including the use of masks and gloves. 

“We’d go to the passenger side window, and we’d ask, ‘From one to four how many masks do you need?’” said Ciesla. “Usually people would say four, and we’d just drop them on the seat so there was no contact.”

According to Frum, a local business that wished to remain anonymous sold the Village the masks at cost. The masks are reusable, cloth and non-surgical grade. 

Masks provided to members of the community for free are a benefit to everyone, so residents should be aware and not take more masks than needed, Frum said. 

“I just think this is part of, as we all say, ‘It takes a village,’” said Frum. “And I think this is one of the things that makes Northbrook truly special, that we look out for each other.”