SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Free masks distributed by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department are going fast.

The different Springfield-Greene County Library locations, where the surgical masks are picked up, are running out of supplies quickly.

Library officials in Springfield said they ran out of supplies Wednesday but still had a few in surrounding county library branches.

“At least 5,000 have already gone out of the 50,000 that we’ve allocated,” said Springfield-Greene County Health Department Public Health Information Administrator, Aaron Schekorra. “Another 15,000 were allocated to the libraries and those masks are at various stages. Either they’re already at the libraries, or they’ve gone out at a few of the locations today, or they’re on their way, especially to our libraries that are out of town.”

The Republic Branch Library still had some remaining masks and COVID-19 care kits on Wednesday afternoon.

“The influx of patrons coming in asking for those into the branch, over the phone, through the drive-thru has just been astounding,” Republic Library Branch Manager Tysha Shay said. “They were just like the hottest commodity in town and everybody wanted them.”

Library officials said they expect to receive 10,000 additional masks Thursday morning that will be split up between the city library branches in Springfield.

People can start picking them up after 11 a.m.

Schekorra said a family can receive up to 50 masks, as well as a COVID-19 care kit, containing a digital thermometer, tissues and hand sanitizer.

“I think at the end of the day, as long as they’re going to families and people who are going to use them, that’s what is important,” Schekorra said.

The health department said additional masks will be distributed to those with less access.

“We are starting to see more and more people get back into that habit,” Schekorra said. “It was a habit that we developed over the span of the last two years and it is one, especially now during the Omicron surge, that we really need to put back into practice.”

For those looking for other opportunities to find masks, Cowan’s Ace Hardware in Springfield has some in stock.

“We have the N95 in store,” said Store Manager, Shawna Bailey. “We have 2 packs, 3 packs, 10 packs.”