The City of Jersey City’s Human Services Department is unveiling a multifaceted public campaign called #MaskUpJC to expand upon the city’s ongoing efforts of providing tools and resources to help Jersey City residents stay safe, especially as COVID-19 infection rates rise nationwide. The #MaskUpJC initiative centers on a citywide mask distribution, wherein five city-branded, 3-ply masks are being sent via mail carrier to all 120,000 households throughout Jersey City.
“Absent a vaccine, wearing a mask is one of the few proven effective ways we can dramatically decrease transmission, and we want to further our efforts to support residents and encourage everyone to remain diligent as we get through this together,” said Mayor Fulop. “My top priority is to protect our residents’ health and safety, and the goal is to avoid another surge which would also inflict further damage on people’s mental health, our struggling businesses, and the local economy.”
Under the #MaskUpJC campaign, the city is distributing 2,000 stickers to businesses that read, “MASK UP to Enter.” Business owners can put the stickers on their storefront windows to encourage customer compliance. All city employees will also receive cloth masks in addition to the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that has been distributed throughout the pandemic.
Along with the masks, the #MaskUpJC packages contain a letter from the Mayor and a “Mask Up JC” poster. In the Mayor’s open letter, residents are also encouraged to sign up for the city’s emergency alert system to receive important updates, as was used throughout the pandemic to keep residents informed.
Since March, the city has distributed over 200,000 masks and PPE to senior buildings, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and residents.
“Our data shows that the major contributor to the current moderate increase in cases is in-home family gatherings, which further supports our efforts to ensure everyone remains compliant,” said Stacey Flanagan, Director of Health and Human Services. “We need everyone to be responsible and do their part to avoid further contagion by wearing masks, maintaining hygiene, and getting tested when they’re exposed or show symptoms.”
HHS is also expanding access to COVID-19 testing and flu vaccines. Several mobile testing units are being deployed throughout the city to bring health services to senior residents and public housing sites. Rapid testing will also soon be available at popup sites citywide, with a 15-minute turnaround time for results. City health officials are targeting communities with higher positivity rates in order to identify, quarantine, and treat those with the virus.
“We knew very little about this virus when it first hit, but today we have a much better understanding of what needs to be done and how we can continue our work with the community to help slow the spread. Our Mask Up campaign encourages compliance so that everyone can do their part to stay safe,” concluded Mayor Fulop.
The “Mask Up JC” branding will be deployed throughout Jersey City’s communication channels, including digital kiosks, billboards, and social media. The city’s website also serves a unique role for non-English speaking residents, who can find the same information in their native language on the website www.jcnj.org/MaskUPJC.