Community leaders announce Mask Up Manatee! Coalition, public education campaign for COVID-related news

Community leaders announce Mask Up Manatee! Coalition, public education campaign for COVID-related news
Posted on 08/05/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Aug. 5, 2020) – The community's top leaders joined today to announce a new Mask Up Manatee! coalition which is being formed to spread public health and COVID-related information to a broad network in Manatee County.

"While the coalition has a central focus, we believe the thing that gives this effort its true strength is that is has the full endorsement and passionate commitment of all of the leaders and entities involved," said Superintendent Cynthia Saunders. "The purpose of the Mask Up Manatee! Coalition is to speak with one voice, one clear voice that is specific to and for Manatee County." 

Saunders was joined by County Administrator Cheri Coryea and Florida Department of Health-Manatee County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Bencie to kick off the Coalition in the auditorium of Braden River High School this morning. They were joined by a host of business, medical and non-profit agency leaders who are committing to spread local updates to a broad network of local agencies.

Patrick Carnegie, President and CEO of MCR Health, summarized the local agencies already taking part in the Coalition: Business groups in the Mask Up Manatee! Coalition include the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, the Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce, the Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce ant the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce along with LWR Communities, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Port Manatee and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation.

In addition to MCR Health, the medical community on the coalition is represented by Manatee Memorial Hospital and the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Blake Medical Center, Centerstone, the Manatee County Healthcare Alliance, the Medical Society and Suncoast Blood Centers.

Local non-profit agencies part of today's announcement included the Healthy Teens Coalition, Unidos Now, United Way Suncoast, Manatee Education Association and the Manatee Community Foundation.

"With the wide array of medical agencies, local non-profits, the business community and local government partners, Mask Up Manatee! is the first group of its in Florida," Coryea said. "We are united in our resolve to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to the recovery effort that is already underway. We are committed to providing staff and agency resources to ensure that the Mask Up Manatee! Coalition has what it needs to share information like no other campaign before it."

The group intends to share COVID-prevention tips from the Department of Health in the weeks before school begins. In the fall, the group will continue its effort to spread information on resilience to the pandemic and recovery from its economic impacts. The Coalition showed a Mask Up Manatee video as the press conference drew to an end.

Local agencies wanting to take part in the new Mask Up Manatee! Coalition are invited to email [email protected]