Lake Tahoe agencies team up to promote mask wearing among residents, visitors

Submitted to the Sierra Sun

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A coalition of Lake Tahoe agencies and local government launched a public service announcement series Thursday to drive home the public health directive of wearing a mask to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Highlighting the message “The Virus Doesn’t Take a Vacation,” the videos are set in various locations around El Dorado County including a beach, a grocery store, a hiking trail and a winery. Partners for the public service announcements include the city of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Barton Health and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.

“We all have a role to play in staying safe to help keep Tahoe open,” said City Manager Joe Irvin. “We have advocated education about preventing the spread of COVID-19 since the beginning. This campaign will ensure the message is heard far and wide.”

The video series builds on other measures the area has been working on to increase compliance. Last month, the city of South Lake Tahoe launched a volunteer ambassador program. Volunteers go to high traffic places in our area and hand out PPE and educational information to folks who need them.

“This series shows people doing the things we love to do in Tahoe while wearing masks. Mask wearing should be viewed as the norm for both locals and visitors,” said El Dorado County Public Health Officer, Dr. Nancy Williams. “We hope this new effort will make residents and visitors want to wear masks in public. While people might not realize it, taking precautions against COVID helps keep the businesses they patronize open. Tahoe kids also need this to happen so they can get back into their classrooms sooner.”

“Studies have shown that wearing a mask and maintaining a physical distance of six feet are effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19,” said Dr. Clint Purvance, President and CEO of Barton Health. “Any awareness or education resulting in compliance supports the overall health and well-being of our community and allows businesses to remain open.”

“The virus does not take a vacation and pays no heed to boundary lines,” TRPA Executive Director Joanne Marchetta said. “We must collaborate regionally to protect our lake, residents, and visitors. We applaud the work of this campaign.”

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority will amplify the message through its Tahoe South social media channels and website.

“During this time, our destination and its myriad of outdoor attractions have been experiencing unprecedented demand,” said Carol Chaplin, CEO and president of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “For Tahoe to stay safe and open for residents and visitors we need everyone’s help.”

The city is still recruiting volunteers for the Ambassador Program. Interested parties can fill out the form online here.

For current information, preventative recommendations, and updates visit:

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