'It's not too much to mask': McHenry County leaders launch campaign to encourage face coverings
Resume McHenry County -- a task force of local leaders designed to help the county recover from COVID-19 -- has launched a new social media campaign to tell residents that wearing a face covering is "not too much to mask" in order to ensure public safety.
Last week, county government, along with the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, released a video where they asked local leaders to share photos of themselves wearing masks and to answer the question: "why do you mask?"
"(I wear a mask because) our students' health and safety are critical to their education," read the quote of Harvard District 50 Superintendent Corey Tafoya, who submitted a photo of himself wearing a mask decorated with fish.
Resume McHenry County is encouraging residents to join in by posting photos of themselves wearing masks and sharing the reasons why they wear them, along with the hashtag #MaskOnMcHenryCounty.
According to a news release sent out by the task force, continuing to wear a mask is the best way to make sure the county avoids having to take a step back in reopening the local economy, as many other areas across the country have been forced to do in recent weeks.
"Wearing a cloth face covering is one of the best defenses we have to limit the spread of COVID- 19," Melissa H. Adamson, public health administrator for the McHenry County Department of Health said in the news release.
"When each of us wears a face mask while out in public and whenever we are unable to maintain a six-foot physical distance, we're helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community."
The news release references recently-released findings published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reaffirm the powerful effect of face coverings in preventing coronavirus infections.
The article centers around an investigation into two Missouri hair stylists who contracted COVID-19 and unknowingly continued seeing clients while wearing cloth face coverings. According to the CDC study, not one of the stylists' 139 clients or secondary contacts became ill after interacting with them.
"Masks save lives. It is not a sign of weakness or a political statement," McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said in the Resume McHenry County news release. "A mask is a protective device. It is a barrier to protect you and those around you from a virus."
All 11 of the state's health regions are currently in Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois COVID-19 recovery plan, but new guidelines released July 15 by the Illinois Department of Public Health show how regions could move backward if they don't continue to meet certain health metrics.
"We all need to continue to work together," McHenry County Economic Development Corporation President Jim McConoughey said in the Resume McHenry County release. "We think 'it's not too much to mask' in order to keep our community safe and our economy moving forward."