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"Keep Our City Open" campaign launches in Bakersfield with signs, billboards and online resources

Posted at 5:25 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 08:25:06-05

We’ve heard the term: follow the signs. It’s a saying, CEO of Memorial Hospital, Ken Keller said, that a collaborative of local hospitals, the City of Bakersfield and the Kern Community Foundation, are hoping people take literally through the initiative, “keep our city open.”

“The general population is tired and fatigued from hearing these ads, or this messaging, and quite honestly, many of the caregivers are getting fatigued in caring for patients that come to the hospitals. So where we stand is really trying to continue to spread the word,” Keller said.

They aim to spread the around town through about a thousand banners and twenty billboards, the ceo and president of kern community foundation, Kristen Beall Watson said. They read things like “thank you for social distancing” and “please wear a mask.”

Watson emphasized that this campaign is to encourage the individual to follow safe practices in an effort to combat the virus.

“We’re not here to say, “shame on businesses or shame on families for their celebrations, or whatever,” Watson said. “It’s not about placing blame. It’s just about hoping that people will stop and think.”

With over 525 thousand CARES Act dollars from the city and the coordination of the foundation, the collaborative is also getting all the messaging out to chambers of commerce around Kern County and to over 350 non-profits the foundation represents.

In addition to safe practices, the campaign aims to educate the public on testing sites and plasma donations.

They’ve further honed the message online and on social media in an effort to reach the younger generations. Messaging materials and resources can be found on here.