Representatives from local law enforcement agencies, the Bowling Green-Warren County Chapter of the NAACP and the Housing Authority of Bowling Green banded together Friday to distribute hundreds of face masks to low-income neighborhoods around the city.

“We’re sure they’ve gotten masks, but it never hurts to have more,” said Ryan Dearbone, president of the local NAACP.

Law enforcement leaders went door-to-door offering residents masks during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has contributed to more than 450 deaths in Kentucky and sickened thousands more.

As of Friday, there are 1,105 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and seven virus-related deaths in Warren County to date, according to the Barren River District Health Department. Of those cases, 752 patients have recovered, according to the health department.

As Kentucky’s economy gradually reopens, Warren County Sheriff Brett Hightower said locals shouldn’t let down their guard.

“As the community begins to reopen up and we start engaging more with one another … we want to make sure that all those folks have proper face masks” to keep themselves safe, he said.

Hightower was joined by Bowling Green Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Delaney and Western Kentucky University Police Chief Mitch Walker. The Rev. John C. Lee of Mt. Zion Baptist Church also joined the group as they rode in a Housing Authority bus and made stops at various neighborhoods to deliver masks.

“This is a chance to check in on them. See if they need anything outside of a mask, and maybe there’s a chance to do something else for them,” Dearbone said, adding that Bowling Green is a tight-knit community even in the face of some flaws.

“We are a unit. We are a family,” he said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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