NRV task force launches new COVID-19 outreach campaign: Be committed. Be Well”

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CHRISTIANSBURG — The New River Valley Public Health Task Force has launched a high-visibility, regional communications campaign titled “Be Committed. Be Well.”

The campaign tagline, hashtag (#weareinthistogether) and related messaging are prominently featured in a variety of products and outreach methods, including:

Nearly 120,000 cloth face coverings (masks), to be distributed to designated locations, including local government offices, courthouses, libraries, aquatic and recreation centers, stores, restaurants, farmer’s markets, police, fire and rescue agencies, hospitals and health/medical providers and schools (K-12 and colleges and universities).

Display advertising on local public transit system buses.

Targeted digital video display advertisements.

Social media posts from partner agencies.

Resolutions from local elected and appointed boards and councils.

Posters, signs, presentations and templates.

Videos and podcasts.

The campaign is based on a 10-point Community Wellness Commitment, which affirms a pledge to do the simple things that protect us all, including recommendations for face coverings, hygiene, distance and minimizing contact, for the well-being of the entire community.

All available campaign materials, including downloadable products, customizeable templates, videos, podcasts and sample social media content, are at www.NRVRoadtoWellness.com. The site is updated regularly and serves as a repository of information to be shared widely throughout the New River Valley.

“We’re keeping the effort local. We know that’s where it will have the greatest impact,” said Noelle Bissell, M.D., director of the New River Health District. “We need to rely on each other to help each other stay well.”

“Early on, we did a good job of protecting our medical and public safety infrastructure. We avoided the outbreaks that could have compromised our emergency rooms and first responders, while establishing a mobile, flexible and effective testing engine,” said Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson. “Now we’re pivoting to a focus on working together to stay safe as our community grows and moves about in greater numbers, as it does each year at this time. We must commit to caring for each other by simply following the expert medical guidance, and doing the right thing.”

“Though there is keen interest in locations and details of cases, that’s misguided,” continued Dr. Bissell. “Knowing those things does nothing to help keep you safe. Only your personal behavior can do that. COVID is here, and it has been since early spring. And what we do individually matters collectively, so personal behavior is the key to personal protection, everywhere and all the time. We’re in this together. Let’s take care of each other. Let’s ‘Be Committed’ and ‘Be Well’ together.”

The campaign is produced by the New River Valley Public Health Task Force, a consortium of local agencies which banded together in early March and continues to work together daily to mitigate and minimize the regional impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Task force partners include the New River Health District (Virginia Department of Health), LewisGale and Carilion hospitals and healthcare systems, New River Community College, Radford University, Virginia Tech, the Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski, the City of Radford, the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, local law enforcement and first responder agencies, New River Valley Community Services, the New River Valley Regional Commission, local public school divisions and area merchants’ associations and chambers of commerce.

The campaign was initially conceived by the Town of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech and, because of strong community partnerships, has rapidly grown to include and complement similar outreach efforts in the City of Radford, at Radford University (“Slow the Spread. Do the Five.”) and in advertising and messaging from local municipalities, healthcare providers and other partners.

For more information, visit www.NRVRoadtoWellness.com and www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus. Or call the New River Health District COVID-19 public health call center at 540-267-8240.