A new campaign launched by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is calling on everyone across the territory to mask up to protect each other as the COVID-19 risk grows across Canada.
The Most Important Thing I’m Wearing campaign encourages residents to wear non-medical masks as a way to take responsibility for protecting each other in situations where it is difficult to follow physical distancing requirements of two meters .
During the pandemic, it is crucial we normalize wearing non-medical masks so everyone feels safe and supported when using this important tool in the COVID-19 prevention toolbox.
The Public Health Agency of Canada states that when worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets. Studies suggest that transmission of a respiratory virus from person to person is significantly decreased if both are wearing non-medical masks.
The first phase the campaign, focused on social media advertising will show ordinary people wearing non-medical face masks with explanations about why it is the most important thing they are wearing. Posts will be made on Facebook and Twitter.
“Now more than ever we need to work together to protect each other. It was inevitable our territory would see more COVID-19 cases as Canada is facing record numbers of confirmed cases. By taking action as individuals, and as a territory, we can be prepared, and do our part to protect residents and communities. Wearing non-medical face masks is one of them.”
- Caroline Cochrane, Premier
“COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to jurisdictions across the globe, and we’ve all had to take actions and steps that we may not be used to. We’ve asked NWT residents throughout this pandemic to do their part and be a leader, and we’re asking that of you again. Lead by example and wear your non-medical mask to help promote this tool to keep us all safe.”
- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services
· The first phase of the campaign will see social media advertising placed on Facebook and Twitter with several different image choices. After two weeks, the GNWT will assess which are the most popular.
· From there, images will be chosen to be featured on window wraps to be placed on high-traffic grocery stores and posters to be sent to communities across the Northwest Territories.
· Radio ads, including placements in Indigenous languages, and newspaper advertisements with supportive messaging on masking will also be launched.
· Non-medical masks are recommended when you cannot consistently maintain a physical distance of two metres from others. Examples of when to wear a non-medical mask include:
o Stores and other shopping areas
o Line-ups and waiting areas
o Public transportation
o Public events (i.e. craft sales)
· The wearing of non-medical masks does not replace other safety measures and should be done while also undertaking the following:
o Frequent cleaning of surfaces
o Washing hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds;
o Staying home when sick; and
o Maintaining a six feet, or 2-metres, of physical distance from others.
For media requests, please contact:
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
Telephone 867-767-9488 ext. 61115