Interior Health launches social media campaign to spread COVID-19 awareness to younger generation - InfoNews

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Interior Health launches social media campaign to spread COVID-19 awareness to younger generation

Kelowna Coun. Loyal Wooldridge has been using his social media platforms to spread awareness about COVID-19.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Loyal Wooldridge
August 01, 2020 - 12:00 PM

Interior Health and Kelowna’s youngest city councillor are teaming up to spread COVID-19 safety awareness to Millennials and Generation Z.

A new social media campaign launched by this month uses the hashtag #WhatWouldDrHenryDo as IH wants to reach British Columbians, especially the 20- to 30-year-old demographic as a recent COVID-19 outbreak in Kelowna started from private parties and gatherings caused a spike in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. The outbreak has caused roughly 1,000 people to self-isolate across the province and led IH to put out warnings of possible exposures at Okanagan businesses.

READ MORE: Nearly 1,000 British Columbians self isolating due to Kelowna COVID-19 exposure

“We want people to be listening to (provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry) and following her ongoing direction to stay safe, and the #WhatWouldDrHenryDo hashtag was a good way to do that,” said Karl Hardt, senior communications consultant with IH, in an emailed statement.

The other hashtag, #SocializeSafely, is about sharing the message that residents can still have fun this summer without have to compromise their safety or the safety of others, he said via email. “So, far it has been generating additional interest and has been shared broadly. This is something we are working with the City of Kelowna on to continue to promote safe practices and bend the curve back in Interior Health.”

Dr. Henry has also asked young people to be her voice on social media, so this campaign leverages that, he said.

Kelowna Coun. Loyal Wooldridge has been connecting with IH to share the social media messages using #SocializeSafely.



Don’t debate just do your part, please. ?? • #COVID19 #SocializeSafely

A post shared by Loyal Wooldridge (@loyalkelowna) on


With the recent outbreaks in the city sparked by a younger demographic, social media is a good tool to reach those folks, Wooldridge said.

Rather than mandating masks, this softer approach is “more creating a conversation around what is our personal accountability... I’m also trying to take more of a positive spin on that as well… rather than giving people fines and tickets, it’s more about education and putting that accountability onto people,” he said.

Wooldridge will also be using his social media platforms to share the advice of IH medical officer Dr. Silvina Mema, focusing on certain issues in the community like mask use, speaking to businesses that have been following social distancing guidelines well and highlighting what consumers can do to fuel the local economy while staying safe, he said. 


He’ll be publishing the videos on his social media channels next week, he said.

He has hopes that the social media campaign will be effective but notes it’s not one single action that will reduce transmission.

“We have to continue to educate constantly,” he said, adding that may be through social media, signage, the radio and more.

- This story was originally published July 29.

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