SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. District Court for the central district of Illinois emptied its closets in the fight against COVID-19.

Officials said courts throughout the district donated nearly 500 protective masks to healthcare providers aiding those affected by the illness caused by the coronavirus. The lot included 175 N95 masks thought to be optimal in blocking transmission of the virus.

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Masks are among the personal protective equipment so in demand worldwide during the pandemic.

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“We extend our gratitude to the healthcare providers and essential workers who are keeping our communities safe,” Chief Judge Sara Darrow said in a statement. “We hope our donation is one small way we can help the greater cause of defeating this deadly virus.”

Central district court sites donated to the follow organizations: Peoria to Advance Medical Transport of Central Illinois; Rock Island to UnityPoint and Pediatric Group Associates critical care centers; Springfield to the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach for distribution to Memorial Health Systems, SIU Medicine, Springfield Clinic and HSHS Illinois, and Urbana to the Champaign County Health Department, collectors for Carle Foundation Hospital.

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