LVMC Chief Executive Officer Steve Popkin has joined a group of local leaders and community organizations in a campaign encouraging the public to “Protect. Respect. Wear Your Mask” in public spaces in order to support local economic opening efforts and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in community settings, in addition to social distancing, frequent hand washing, and other preventative actions.
A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings.
The Public Service campaign comes as the state of California recently agreed to new civic reopening guidelines for Santa Barbara County. Those guidelines include the exclusion of Lompoc Prison inmate COVID-19 cases in official counts. The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is joining with the cities of Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe, LVMC, Marian Regional Medical Center, Allan Hancock College, and other community stakeholders in promoting the “Respect. Protect. Wear Your Mask.” campaign to urge residents to protect themselves, their families, and community members from the virus.
“In order to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and support an open economy, we must all unite and continue practicing social safety measures – including wearing a mask when in public,” Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Glenn Morris said in a statement. “We are all understandably eager to get back to ‘normal’ and wearing a mask can help us get there more quickly.”
Mr. Popkin joins others such as Lompoc Mayor Janelle Osborne, Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn, Allan Hancock College President Dr. Kevin Walthers, and more.
Since March 20, Northern Santa Barbara County cities have followed a statewide shelter-in-place order to help California “flatten the curve” and prevent the spread of COVID-19. More than 1,300 people in Santa Barbara County have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, resulting in 11 deaths.
“Respect. Protect. Wear Your Mask.” campaign will utilize posters, flyers, video, and social media to ensure this important public health message is spread throughout Northern Santa Barbara County.
The coalition is also urging members of the public to help communicate this critical message to their friends and family. Wearing a mask will not only protect them but other members of the community as well. Many local businesses are also asking customers to wear masks when shopping to protect the health and safety of other customers and business employees.
For more information, visit www.ProtectRespect.org