SANTA MARIA, Calif. - City leaders are launching a Mask Awareness Campaign this week.
"The pandemic is not over. We're still dealing with people that are becoming infected and struggling with impacts of that disease. At the same time we recognize it's important that we get people back to work and get our businesses open as we rebuild our economy," said CEO Glenn Morris with the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.
With the highest rate of coronavirus cases in Santa Barbara County outside of the Lompoc Federal Prison, city leaders across Santa Maria are looking for ways to safely reopen.
"One of the key steps for individuals like you and I can to help in that process is to wear a mask when we're interacting with people outside of our homes," said Morris.
Local health experts, business leaders and city council members will throw their support for the campaign.
"Community leaders are coming together to help everyone in the community to becoming aware of the need for masks," said CEO Eddie Taylor with United Way.
As the community gets ready to enter the next phase of reopening, leaders want more people to wear face coverings.
The press conference will be held on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the Abel Maldonado Youth Center.