Widespread mask-wearing, physical distancing and hand-washing are proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Encouraging the public to adopt these behaviors should be a key component of any government’s approach to addressing COVID-19, complementing other areas such as testing, contact tracing and supportive isolation.
Unfortunately, data from many countries have demonstrated that while public awareness of COVID-19 remains high, there are troubling declines in masking and other protective behaviors. To make it easy for governments, NGOs and health professionals to mount fresh campaigns that re-engage the public and encourage these “new normal” behaviors, Vital Strategies and its Resolve to Save Lives Initiative have launched a new “Live COVID-19 Safe” campaign toolkit.
“We’re heading into a dangerous phase of the pandemic,” said Steve Hamill, Vice President for Policy, Advocacy and Communication at Vital Strategies. “Infection rates and deaths are climbing in many areas, but fatigue is potentially making the public less vigilant to mask, watch their distance and wash their hands. Governments need to redouble their efforts to promote the ‘3W’s’ and prevent further spread of this deadly disease. The ‘Live COVID-19 Safe’ campaign toolkit should make it easier for governments to mount new engaging, scientifically validated campaigns and refresh this call to action.”
“Live COVID-19 Safe” draws upon Vital Strategies’ decade of experience developing risk communication materials and the epidemic expertise of the Resolve to Save Lives initiative. Toolkit messages have been vetted by scientists and communication experts to provide ready-made materials to governments and health officials. Materials incorporate a strong visual look and feel that makes it easy for audiences to understand the “do’s” and “don’ts” of reducing risk to COVID-19, and can be used as is, or adapted for local contexts. In addition to covering the “3 W’s”—Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance— it advises the public to reduce their risk by avoiding crowds, crowded spaces and physical contact. Context-specific materials around shopping, worship and small gatherings are also available. Materials are available in English, Portuguese, French and Kiswahili and join 300+ COVID-19 communication resources in over 20 unique languages at the COVID-19 Risk Communication Hub.
To access the “Live COVID-19 Safe” toolkit, please visit: https://covid19riskcomms.org/livecovid19safe
To access the COVID-19 Risk Communications Hub, please visit: www.covid19riskcomms.org
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in 73 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.
To find out more, please visit vstrategystage.wpengine.com or Twitter @VitalStrat.
About Resolve to Save Lives
Resolve to Save Lives , an initiative of Vital Strategies, aims to prevent at least 100 million deaths from cardiovascular disease and epidemics. Through its Prevent Epidemics program, Resolve to Save Lives has rapidly leveraged existing networks to partner with countries throughout Africa and beyond to combat COVID-19. Resolve is led by Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To find out more visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org or Twitter @ResolveTSL.
Resolve to Save Lives created a website called PreventEpidemics.org that shows how prepared each country is for an epidemic, including COVID-19, and how many flights are coming and going from infected countries. This site is also a resource for current coronavirus statistics and resources.
Christina Honeysett, Vital Strategies: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1-914-424-3356