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New public health initiative launched in Carlisle

Dickinson College and the Downtown Carlisle Association distributed thousands of masks and posters to 120 businesses to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

CARLISLE, Pa. — A new health initiative was launched Wednesday in Downtown Carlisle, to try and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

After several months of being closed, Kristin Tuckey, owner of The Greatest Gift shop is happy to have her 'open' sign out.

"Yeah it's been really difficult," Tuckey said "It's been hard. We've had to be creative."

Her shop is one of a number of businesses that have pledged to combat the spread of COVID-19, as part of an initiative launched by Carlisle's Community Action Network or "CAN" in conjunction with Dickinson College.

"We all want to see 2021 be better than 2020," Glenn White, Executive Director of the Downtown Carlisle Association, said. "So, we're all trying to do our part, whether it's small or big, to make sure we get through this as one community."

Members of CAN braved the gusty winds to hand out more than 4,000 masks and posters to 120 businesses. Sidewalk banners were put up along High and Hanover Streets.

"We want the businesses to stay open," Tuckey said. "We have a thriving community. We're all learning to be flexible. We're learning to be creative and the community is cheering us on."

Perhaps staying open, would be the greatest gift for Kristin Tuckey.

"We're thriving right now but it's always that fear, 'what if.' What if we're closed tomorrow? What if we're closed over the holidays? The holidays brings in like 70% of our total income for retail for the year," Tuckey said.

Dickinson College is expecting to bring back half of its students next semester after being all virtual this fall. It hopes the masks and this entire initiative will help bring back more students sooner. 

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