CORNING - The delivery of protective face masks to help control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to senior citizens throughout the city is going extraordinarily well, according to City Manager Mark Ryckman.

The Steuben County Emergency Management Office recently provided the city with masks to distribute to the public.

"We will probably run out of masks soon and have requested more from Steuben County," Ryckman said. "If we receive more, we will continue to deliver them to senior’s homes. We will also work with the business and nonprofit community to distribute any extra masks we receive to the general public."

Any senior citizen who lives in the city and would like a pack of free masks, can call the city at 438-4320, officials said. The city would need the person's name, address, and phone number. A uniformed firefighter or police officer will then deliver the masks directly to their home.

"The senior citizens who have been calling us have been extremely polite and grateful," Ryckman said. "On its first day (Thursday), we had over 100 requests."

Mayor Bill Boland said providing protective face masks is a wonderful initiative to keep our senior citizens safe.

"Wearing a mask is important to protect yourself and others," Boland said.

Ryckman said city patrolmen and firefighters are doing a great job delivering the masks.

"Many of the masks were delivered within an hour of the seniors calling us," Ryckman said. "I am very proud of our employees."

Corning Fire Chief Brad Davies agreed.

"The seniors are very pleased that uniformed police officers and firefighters are delivering the masks directly to their homes," Davies said. "They feel an added sense of protection that our officers and firefighters are there in this time of need."

Longtime City Councilman Frank Coccho, D-6, said he thinks distributing the protective mask will serve its purpose and be very effective.

"This will help make sure that there will be less people spreading the virus, which is to our benefit," Coccho said. "I thank (Steuben) county for its generosity."