The city of Seattle has created an online marketplace connecting local manufacturers with organizations, businesses and individuals who need cloth face coverings.

The initiative, Seattle Protects, encourages local organizations in search of face coverings to purchase them from Seattle-region midsize manufacturers and businesses that have shifted to creating face coverings and personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from Mayor Jenny A. Durkan’s office.

The initiative comes after a county-wide directive issued May 11 from Public Health — Seattle & King County advising residents to wear cloth face coverings, such as masks, in all indoor and outdoor settings where proper social distancing was not possible. People should continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing, as well.

In the press release, Durkan stated city officials have heard from many business owners who are searching to buy face coverings. As well, midsize manufacturers in the city have indicated they are changing their product output to better serve customers’ needs during the pandemic. Seattle Protects bridges that gap.

“Thank you to our local manufacturers who are putting community first and responding to the COVID crisis by shifting their operations to make face masks,” District 7 Councilman Andrew Lewis said in the press release. “We appreciate your efforts to protect our most vulnerable community members. I’m proud to be part of a city that utilizes public and private partnerships to bring an ‘all hands on deck’ attitude to respond to crises.”

Seattle-region manufacturers interested in joining the Seattle Protects marketplace must fill out an application and manufacture masks that meet vetted specifications created by Kaiser Permanente, Unity Point Health and Made @ Generate to help ensure all masks meet health and safety best practices.

The marketplace website also allows organizations and businesses interested in purchasing face coverings for their workforce to explore the registered manufacturers to find available face coverings that can be customized to meet the needs of their business. Seattle Protects vendors have committed to sell face coverings at a bulk price between $5 and $7 per face covering.

Community members are also able to find manufacturers selling individual face coverings at market price. To help keep people in need safe, the mayor’s office is also requesting people who are interested and able to make and donate cloth face coverings to help vulnerable communities.

Go to the Seattle Protects marketplace to learn more about the campaign, including links to make and purchase masks, and for more information on how to donate cloth face coverings for vulnerable communities.