stands with Asian Pacific Islander

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly, second from left, stands with Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs members at the May 7 event.

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly on May 7 announced that 16,000 surgical masks, 100 face shields, 100 goggles and gel sanitizer would be donated to 15 local senior living facilities, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, and Elk Grove Food Bank Services.

Hosted by Ly and the Elk Grove Provisions Task Force (EGPTF), the event was held in front of Elk Grove City Hall shortly before the donation of those items, which will be used in defense against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Those participating in this project were the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs, California Northstate University, EGPTF, and local residents.

The donations were made through the work of the Elk Grove Provisions Task Force, which was established by Ly and Vice Mayor Steve Detrick.

Under this project, masks given to the food bank will be distributed to community members who are unable to obtain masks for themselves and their family members.

While standing outside City Hall, Ly said that he was excited about the donations.

“This represents exactly what Elk Grovians are all about, which is coming together in a time of crisis and a time of need,” he said. “So, it makes me real proud of that.”

Ly explained how he was able to assist with this project.

“The interesting thing here is being the mayor, oftentimes there will be people who will give me a call and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got 1,000 masks here that I need to donate somewhere,’ or nurses calling me and saying, ‘Hey, mayor, do you know anyone who wants to donate masks?’

“I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I can connect the needs of those resources that are available.”

The mayor said that he is frustrated that the COVD-19 situation has become a political issue.

“It really isn’t a political issue,” he said. “It’s a public safety issue. Follow the order of a public health officer. That’s the doctor that has the experience to know (how) to determine whether we should be practicing social distancing or staying home or wearing masks. If we follow these orders, it’s going to be in the best interest of our community.

“No politician, unless they’re a researcher or a doctor will have the expertise to be able to articulate whether they should or should not wear masks.”

Ly also stressed that the community should wear masks.

“This is an effort to make sure that we’re all protected,” he said. “The fact of the matter is, we need to make the assumption that each and every one of us may have been exposed. Our job is to protect anyone around us from potentially getting infected.

“If we come from that premise, then it makes logical sense for us to wear masks. Keep my germs with me, and not spread it with somebody else.”

During the event, both Ly and C.C. Yin, founder and chair-emeritus of APAPA, praised Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Tony Lin for donating the funds for 10,000 masks, which he purchased in the name of that organization.

“You’re heart is in the right place,” Ly said. “On behalf of the city, I really do appreciate your effort.”

The mayor also recognized Elk Grove’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

“We’ve been pretty responsive to this, and that being the case, able to keep our numbers very low,” he said. “We only had three deaths. It’s certainly sad for those individuals and the families and the friends of those who lost somebody to COVID-19, either it be in Elk Grove or anywhere in the country or the world. But at the same time, we have to make sure that we do our due diligence in making sure that we protect our community.”

Sacramento County’s public health department reported that as of May 10, Elk Grove had 95 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three deaths from the virus.