BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Department of Health on Thursday announced the expansion of its #MasksOnMaryland campaign, with new media and social components to debut this week in English and Spanish.
The campaign, which initially launched on June 25 and encourages Marylanders to use face coverings in public places, is now expanding—even as evidence continues to mount indicating that cloth masks are ineffective at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Evidence from lab studies suggests that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19, according to a paper published by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
“Reminding Marylanders to continue to be vigilant is critical, so we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 as we move into the fall,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “#MasksOnMaryland encourages all of us to recognize how we can go about living our lives if we take the right precautions, like wearing masks. We all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe.”
The new campaign elements are designed to speak to a wide range of Marylanders, but especially to people aged 18 to 34 and those who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including Maryland’s Hispanic and African American communities. The campaign includes radio, digital, TV and social media ads. Local “influencers” will also help spread the message that residents can “carry on” when they “mask on.”
“In taking this new approach, we aim to inspire action for more Marylanders to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash their hands and avoid large crowds,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “If we all do our part, we can help keep our numbers trending in the right direction.”
To date, Maryland has confirmed 106,063 cases of COVID-19 and has conducted more than 1.8 million COVID-19 tests. On July 31, Maryland’s mask order expanded to include public areas of businesses and buildings, and outdoor public areas when it is not possible to maintain physical distancing. Combined with increased testing, contact tracing and sustained social distancing, wearing face coverings are essential to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
To view new media for the #MasksOnMaryland campaign, visit covidlink.maryland.gov/content/masks-on-maryland/.