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Business and health communities join forces to protect community and business through “MaskupMendo” Campaign

News, Community Partnerships

August 6, 2020 (Mendocino County, CA) – Community members, agencies, hospitals and businesses throughout Mendocino County are joining forces to promote health and quality of life through the coronavirus pandemic with the Mask Up Mendo campaign. This collaboration will include the distribution of masks, hand sanitizer, information and education throughout the county.

“Mendocino County residents jump in and take action to improve our situation,” says John Haschak, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors. “That’s what Mask Up Mendo is all about. It’s about taking proactive steps to keep our friends and neighbors working and healthy so they can pay their rent or mortgage. It’s about keeping our local businesses open and thriving, which protects our quality of life and our municipal services that rely on tax revenue.”

“The Mask Up Mendo awareness campaign focuses on education not enforcement”, says Katrina Kessen, Executive Director of the Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance. “It will give businesses confidence and provide support for compliance with state and local mask ordinances. By collaborating with community partners, the Ukiah, Willits and Mendocino Coast Chambers of Commerce can offer businesses communication tools so that businesses are more prepared to encourage their customers to wear a mask.”

Through a donation of masks and hand sanitizer from a collaborating partner, Economic Development and Financing Corporation (EDFC), businesses are able to receive much needed safety supplies from the chamber locations and distribution hubs throughout the county. There have already been over 40,000 masks and 100 cases of sanitizer distributed.

There is also a community-wide prize drawing for those who post selfies while wearing masks in front of county businesses and scenic landscapes. All photos should use the hashtag #MaskUpMendo and tag at least one friend.

Kessen adds that “healthy county residents have a direct effect on community members’ livelihoods. I’ve seen us come together when it matters most. Let’s come together for a common goal – protecting our families and helping our small businesses. Of every dollar spent in the county, 67 cents stay here. That revenue helps keep our neighbors employed and using other local businesses. In order for our county and businesses to remain open, we must work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“Our healthcare workers continue to be at the forefront of this challenge. But it will take the whole community coming together to stop the spread,” says Jason Wells, president of the three Adventist Health hospitals in the county, and a lead partner in the campaign. “Adventist Health is excited to be a part of this. We’re not just about caring for people in beds but partnering with our community to care for others outside the walls of our hospitals.”

Bessant Parker, MD, medical officer for Adventist Health says the smallest actions can make a big impact. “While there’s a lot of focus on testing and other mitigation efforts, a unified effort by the community to take precautions will make a difference in slowing the spread. The main mode of transmission of the virus is through droplets. That’s why the CDC recommends mask-wearing as it serves as a barrier for a sick person’s droplets to stay in, therefore protecting those around them and stopping the spread.”

In addition to Adventist Health and the Economic Development and Financing Corporation for the county, other lead partners include Visit Mendocino County and The County of Mendocino. Supporting agencies also include Redwood Coast Chamber of Commerce; Anderson Valley Chamber of Commerce; Mendocino Winegrowers, Inc; Point Arena Merchants Association; Workforce Alliance of the North Bay; West Business Development Center; Laytonville Fire Department; along with the strong support from the cities of Gualala, Point Arena, Fort Bragg, Ukiah, and Willits.

Ambassadors have begun to reach out to communities with information about the program. All county businesses are invited to contact their local Chambers of Commerce for information and to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE). For further information and marketing support visit: www.maskupmendo.com

The Greater Ukiah Business and Tourism Alliance – 707.462.4705 / exploreukiah@gmail.com

The Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce - 707.961.6300 / chamberceo@mcn.org

The Willits Chamber of Commerce - 707.459.7910 / director@willits.org