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New public health campaign “Mask Up Westmoreland” launched

WESTMORELAND — Excela Health is launching a public health campaign called “Mask Up Westmoreland”, aimed at urging the community to wear masks to try to get life back to normal.

That’s the push from the new public health campaign — trying to convince Westmoreland County to mask up as a united front.

“We all were reliant on one another, so we thought it was important that our people and our residents hear from everyone that’s impacted and how important it was for them to contribute and be a part of the message,” said John Sphon, Excela Health CEO.

While COVID-19 cases in Westmoreland County have been steadily declining, officials are saying it is just as important to wear a mask now as it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We also didn’t want people to forget about wearing a mask while we’re going through this phase of this vaccine. So, the timing, we thought, was important to do it right now so people didn’t lose focus on that and let their guard down.” Sphon said.

The campaign goes beyond just the health care field. Excela focuses on industries hit the hardest, like restaurants, schools, and arts and entertainment.

“We want 1,300 people back in these seats, and those 1,300 people we want to spend money at local restaurants and other businesses in the area; and live entertainment is about a sense of community and were lacking that,” said April Kopas, CEO of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

The Palace Theater in Greensburg is usually pumping out live shows every weekend, but the seats have been empty since the pandemic hit. Kopas says being a part of the message will hopefully bring the stage back to life.

“We do want to get back together. We miss gatherings, we miss the live experience of music and arts brings to us, so ... really, that’s the message we want to say; we want to safely get there, we all want to get together but we want to get there together.,” Kopas said.