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Nearly 40,000 protective masks donated by municipal and education officials in Shanghai, China have arrived in Utah. The masks have an approximate value of $275,000.

These donations are a result of the international diplomacy work and collaborative projects by the Utah Legislature’s International Relations and Trade Committee, Utah State Board of Education, Utah STEM Action Center, and Davis, Iron and Tooele school districts. The Chinese counterparts who made the donations are from the Shanghai Municipal Government and Shanghai’s Jiading District. Jiading District has been engaged with USBE and Utah STEM Action Center and Utah School Districts on a collaborative project called “Sister Communities of Learning”, which focuses on sharing STEM education best practices and language learning.

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Economic Bridge International, a Utah and Shanghai-based consulting firm, volunteered their services in coordinating with Chinese government. U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s office also assisted in ensuring the donations reached Utah. Utah State Representatives Eric Hutchings & Paul Ray, along with Senator Jake Anderegg have been instrumental in receiving these donations and distributing them to where they are needed.

These disposable masks will be used by the three school districts and other districts across the State to ensure their workers can provide school lunches for students with proper protection. Masks were also delivered to Odyssey House, the local drug treatment and recovery center which has had an outbreak of COVID infections. Deliveries to the Utah healthcare system are also underway.

These masks donated from Utah’s friends in China have helped the Utah education system, front line medical workers, and some of the most vulnerable members of Utah’s society to stay safe during this worldwide Virus crisis.