'Get Behind the Mask': NCDHHS launches new public campaign targeting minority communities

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched a new campaign to get Carolinians to "Get Behind the Mask", as they prepare to enter Phase 2.5.

The new statewide public campaign's PSA was shown during Secretary Mandy Cohen's Thursday afternoon press conference. It was called "Whatever Your Reason, Get Behind the Mask".

According to Cohen, the PSA video shows real North Carolina people, places and lives, reflecting the diverse group of individuals we should strive to protect.

Robin Featherstone, a Raleigh woman, is one of nearly 173 thousand Carolinians who has tested positive for COVID-19. Featherstone spent nearly a month battling the virus, still dealing with the effects months later.

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"I do have some like, I have some breathing issues. I sound a little bit hoarse now, that's probably because of that. Um, I do see a pulmonologist now," Featherstone said.

The NCDHHS has utilized nearly $4 million from the CARES Act funding to put this campaign together.

Secretary Mandy Cohen says this campaign, which will air on TV, radio, social media and be placed on billboards, is available in English and Spanish. This will allow the message to reach minority communities deeply affected by COVID-19.

"For me, I wear a mask to protect my family, friends and co-workers, and out of respect for every Carolinian who's looking to do that same," Cohen added.

Because of Featherstone's month-long experience, she knows first-hand how taxing the virus can be on your body. She tells Eyewitness News that it's made her realize the importance of covering her face.

"Having a mask is a must for me. I don't want people around me who don't have on masks," Featherstone said.

NCDHHS encourages community and business organizations to help spread the word out about the 3Ws (Wear, Wait, and Wash).
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