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New PSA campaign focuses on returning to school

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 9:25 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - This week, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, the Eau Claire Area School District, and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire put out a series of Public Service announcements focused on returning to school.

Health and school officials in Eau Claire say it’s a simple message to get across.

Wearing a mask and keeping six feet physical distance are the best ways to allow for in-person classes five days a week.

Those officials hope new PSAs are another avenue to get their message out to the community.

“The videos are all short, they’re 30 seconds and that’s really all we need is just a little bit of time for students and parents and teachers to say what it is they’re looking forward to going back in to school for,” said Eau Claire City-County Health Department COVID-19 Response Public Information Officer Audrey Boerner.

It’s a new series of Public Service Announcements from the Eau Claire Area School District, City-County Health Department and UW-Eau Claire.

Each features students, parents, and teachers in the Eau Claire Area School District talking about what in-person classes means to them.

“As an educator and of course as a school district we believe that being in person with students is the best way to learn. That is how we set up our learning. That is how our students interact with one another. Learning is a very social activity and so we believe very strongly in having our students in front of us,” explained ECASD Student Services Director Kaying Xiong.

However, right now the district is not having in-person classes for all students five days a week because of capacity concerns and to keep cohorts small for potential contact tracing purposes.

District officials say to get back to all in-person learning, people need to wear masks and keep up with social distancing.

“Our target audience really is our school community but also our community at large in supporting our students and our families and ensuring that they understand how to wear a mask properly. And that they’re keeping the six feet physical distancing requirement in place,” said Xiong.

It’s a message that has been shared constantly over the past few months.

Coming up with new ways to reach more people, health officials hope will make that message stick more clearly.

“We know that people rely on lots of different channels to get their information. Some rely on social media, others on newspapers. Others on TV and radio and so we like to use a variety of channels to be able to get the message out,” said Boerner

Since March, a group of county organizations has met either weekly or a couple of times a month to see what sort of information needs to get out to the public.

It was in one of those meetings where the idea to create these PSAs originated.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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