The Maplewood Public Health Division launched a pilot program in July sending Social Distancing Ambassadors into public spaces to hand out masks, and remind everyone that wearing a mask and following social distancing measures are some of the most effective ways to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Maplewood’s Health Officer Candice Davenport recently reported on the program’s progress:
“The Social Distancing Ambassador Pilot Program started at the end of July and will go until Labor Day. The Social Distancing Ambassadors (SDAs) are trained to educate about COVID-19 and provide face masks/ coverings to people who need them. It was meant initially to target people in the local parks but we are moving into public spaces and events like the township farmers market and outdoor evening music events in Maplewood Village. The goal is to promote face coverings when a six foot distance cannot be maintained in the parks and public spaces and to encourage social distancing. These two actions greatly reduce the community spread of COVID-19. The Township Committee wants people to go out and enjoy our public parks and spaces but we also want to encourage people to do it safely.
There are 6 Social Distancing Ambassadors (SDAs), 3 supervisors, and one Medical Reserve Corps volunteer. They are out in pairs on weeknights and during the day over the weekends. The response from the community has been very receptive and people are engaging them with questions on how to wear the mask properly and where and when do you use masks when in public. People have been pleased to see the positive effort by the township to encourage people to wear face coverings when outdoors.”