Naperville launches video campaign to promote wearing masks
Naperville has begun rolling out a series of videos promoting the wearing of face masks to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The first "Mask Up, Naperville" video was released on social media Tuesday, featuring Mayor Steve Chirico and city council members ensuring their mouths and noses are properly covered. Two more public service announcements are expected to be unveiled in the next month.
The videos are part of the city's ongoing campaign aimed at encouraging compliance of a statewide mandate that face coverings be worn in public.
"We need to rely on people using good judgment," Chirico said. "Our strategy has been, and is going to be, doing it through awareness and communication -- a campaign of being good citizens and caring for one another and wearing your mask when you can't socially distance."
The concept stemmed from a public meeting last month where several speakers requested city action to help prevent a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus.
The council decided against enacting a local mask ordinance due to enforcement concerns. But after a suggestion from Councilman Kevin Coyne, the city's elected leaders agreed recording a video for social media would be an appropriate way to put their support behind the public health and safety efforts.
An executive order from Gov. J.B. Pritkzer requires face coverings be worn inside public places, as well as outdoors when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. A stricter mandate for bar and restaurant patrons takes effect Wednesday, requiring customers to don their masks while placing orders, being served and during other interaction with employees.
Wednesday also marks the first day of more stringent COVID-19 mitigation measures implemented in Will County, which includes the southern portion of Naperville, after that region reported three consecutive days of average test positivity rates exceeding 8%.
In a news release Tuesday, Naperville officials encouraged residents to wash their hands, watch their distance from others and wear face coverings to prevent the virus from spreading, regardless of the county in which they live.
Last month, the city launched a Naper Notify message urging the public to use face coverings, city spokeswoman Linda LaCloche said. Two message boards have been placed in the downtown area, she said, noting they'll be moved to other locations this week to reach other audiences.
The Downtown Naperville Alliance also has put up signs throughout the downtown area to spread awareness about mask-wearing and social distancing.