Powell County Health Department starts video campaigns to promote masks

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POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A simple cloth mask has become a symbol of division across the country and in Kentucky. But health departments, in charge of enforcing the state’s mask mandate, are still trying to encourage people to wear them.

“It’s here, it’s spreading and it’s not going to go away until people work together to follow the guidelines,” Kevin Hall with Lexington Health Department said.

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Hall is trying to normalize masks as a priority.

“If you don’t wear a mask at a business, you’re hurting them because they’re the ones who are subjected to a fine, they’re the ones who could be closed,” Hall said.

But how do you convince people to wear something many see as negative? Powell County is trying a new video campaign to reach people.

“Sometimes the opposition can get a little loud on social media,” Stacy Crase with Powell County Health Department said.

The idea is that it uses well-known people in the community, influencers, to promote the guidelines and a positive message around the guidelines.

“Now, it’s getting critical and we really need to bring out some gems in our community to really show that it’s not just the health department saying this,” Crase said.

The first video focuses on the virus knowing no boundaries featuring different political parties, ages and jobs in the video.

The second video happened more organically.

“And I just started singing in mind is. ‘You got to wear your mask, you see right now it’s a necessity’. And I was like, oh my gosh,” Chelsea Nolan, a Powell County musician said.

Then she messaged Cory Graham who is heading the video campaigns about her new rendition of The Bare Necessities.

“I don’t know if I consider myself an influencer, but if everybody has a voice, and if you use it to help the common good, then that’s the whole purpose in having a voice and I just choose to use the voice I have to help the people I love and care about,” Nolan said.

“I like to wear my mask you see, it protects you and filters me, the 2020 way of livin’ life,” Nolan said in her version of the song.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com