Lebanon County’s $2.8 million mask-wearing campaign underway


LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) — When Gov. Tom Wolf released nearly $13 million in COVID-19 relief to Lebanon County, he did so with a catch: $2.8 million had to go to a mask-wearing media campaign.

That campaign is well underway.

This all started back in May when Lebanon County Republicans pushed to move the county to the yellow phase before Wolf gave his blessing.

As a result, Wolf withheld their CARES Act money.

“It’s educating everyone to get on board,” said Jo Ellen Litz, (D) who was the only Lebanon County Commissioner to vote against going yellow prematurely.

That education comes with a hefty budget, and they hope to spend every dime.

“We’re printing 55,000 masks that will go out in a mailer to every household in Lebanon County. We have billboards going up on the side of the roads,” Litz said.

The campaign comes as there’s a fork in the road for the county. In the last two weeks, Lebanon has had its two single highest days of positive cases.

“Right now, with our numbers climbing, this timing is impeccable,” Litz said.

The timing for the economy is also just right.

Lebanon County businesses and nonprofits can apply to display a “Mask Up Lebanon” sign at their locations for three months to receive $1,000 from the campaign.

“We encourage it, because then they are giving their customers or parishioners — or whatever — the message that you should wear a mask,” Litz said.

The deadline to apply is Nov. 1. because the money needs to be spent by the end of the year.

“We’re asking people to advertise for us. You advertise for us, you get paid. It’s a hand-up, not a hand-out,” Litz said.

Even though a multi-million dollar campaign might seem like a lot, Litz said there is no greater price to pay than losing a loved one to the virus.

“For goodness sakes, let’s stop the bickering. Let’s stop the resistance. The science is there. Do your part and wear a mask,” Litz said.

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