TRENTON, NJ – Did you know, people in your own household might right now be infected with the deadly COVID-19 virus and not even know about it? Maybe they contracted it at their last trip to the park or supermarket? Even worse, one of those outdoor bars where nobody follows directions or at the last radical leftist protest or riot your children attended. That’s the message New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli are sending this week as she and Governor Phil Murphy are pushing their contact tracers on New Jersey.
An army of 1,500 workers have been deployed to let you know you might have COVID-19, even though you don’t know it, have the sniffles or maybe a fever. With the virus’ numbers diminished by over 90% in most trackable statistics since April, Persichili reminded New Jersey, the killer is still lurking out there and when their contact tracers call, you need to answer.
“As the Governor covered, we are making progress in building our army of contact tracers in our state. However, we still have too many residents not providing key information to reach their contacts and control the spread of COVID-19,” she said. “That means that many individuals, the contacts, are not aware that they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. These individuals could be your family, your friends and your coworkers who unknowingly are contributing to the spread of the virus. This puts residents at risk, especially those who are most vulnerable, older adults and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and lung disease.”
Persichili said the state has now invested money into a statewide marketing and public relations campaign to promote contact tracers and encourage residents to answer the call. Persichili said the campaign is targeting communities where black and Latino people live.
“To help residents understand the importance of contact tracing and testing, last week we launched our public awareness campaign, For Each Other, For Us All. This campaign is a multichannel communications effort reaching vulnerable and high-risk audiences across the state with a heightened focus on communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Advertising is targeted to reach populations most at risk,” Persichili said. “Ads will also run in multicultural communities, such as the cities of Newark, Paterson, Elizabeth, Camden, Atlantic City and Trenton. As the campaign progresses, we hope the message for residents, For Each Other, For Us All, Answer the Call, will further resonate and we will see an increase in residents sharing their contacts with tracers so we can contain the virus.”
“Although the campaign has been running for a short time, we are already seeing positive results. More than 770,000 individuals have shared or liked the campaign ads on Facebook. We have seen a high engagement with the senior population via this social media channel,” she said “Video advertising on Univision has engaged residents with nearly all of them watching the majority of the video. The COVID-19 information hub has seen nearly 35,000 page views since the launch, and 95% of the users visited the site for the first time. After going to the test and trace page, most users have been clicking on the testing information page. More than 100 TV ads and nearly 600 radio ads have run so far. Billboards in New Jersey Transit advertising are up in key urban centers in Newark, Elizabeth, Camden, Patterson, Atlantic City and Trenton. We will continue to expand the reach of our campaign in the weeks to come.”