Cook County launches ‘Mask Up’ campaign to target young adults

Cook County healthcare workers say we are now in the beginning stages of a "second surge" of COVID-19. 

With that in mind, some brand new "awareness" campaigns are launching to implore people to be better about wearing masks.

They're targeting adults in their 20's and everyone in Lincoln Park.

On Monday, via Zoom, Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) convened school, community and business leaders throughout the North Side neighborhood to hammer home one message.

"Please take this seriously and wear a mask. Face it, Lincoln Park, wear a mask!” Smith said.

The campaign launched the same day Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced “Mask Up Cook County,” a new social media marketing campaign targeting adults 20 to 29 years old.

“We hope that Mask Up Cook County will appeal to young peoples' sense of social justice and social responsibility,” Preckwinkle said.

Her health team says between March and July, COVID-19 cases among adults in their 20s spiked 250 percent.

“We are calling on the next generation of young adults to wear it, don't spread it, mask up, back up,” said Dr. Kiran Joshi from the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Young adults can expect ads saying “wear it, don’t spread it,” to start crossing their social media feeds on YouTube, Spotify and Instagram in hopes that Cook County doesn’t start going in the wrong direction.

“If we continue to see increasing deaths and that death rate happening, then over the next several weeks we may indeed be asked by IL to put in place more strict guidance that might have some level of enforcement behind it as well,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin.

The mask campaign will take place the entire month of September. Preckwinkle says one advantage of using social media is: if there's a cluster of cases, or an identified outbreak, they can deliver a heavier concentration of those ads to the affected groups.