(Staunton, Virginia) — A group of local health, education, community service and local government agencies in Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro have unveiled a community wellness commitment campaign to encourage community members to care for the health and well-being of others. The campaign, named Stay Well SAW (Staunton, Augusta County, Waynesboro), is based on a six-point COVID-19 Community Commitment, which affirms a pledge to follow public health guidance and do the simple things that protect us all from the spread of COVID-19.
The campaign is produced by the SAW COVID-19 Public Private Partnership, a coalition of local agencies, including the Central Shenandoah Health District (Virginia Department of Health), Augusta Health, the City of Staunton, the City of Waynesboro, Augusta County, the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce, Shenandoah Valley Social Services, the Community Foundation, United Way, Community Action Partnership, Mary Baldwin University and Blue Ridge Community College.
COVID-19 continues to be a critical health concern across Virginia and the U.S. As we enter the winter season and the new year, it is important, now more than ever, that our community members follow public health guidance including social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands, practicing respiratory etiquette and staying home when you are sick.
“Now is the time for our entire community to buckle down and follow the public health guidance that is proven to be effective in reducing the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19”, said Laura Kornegay, M.D., director of the Central Shenandoah Health District. “We all want to return back to normal, but it is more important than ever that we protect each other by doing things like wearing masks, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, staying at home as much as possible and limiting our in-person holiday celebrations to the family members we live with. We need to ‘flatten the curve’ of our large increase in cases to avoid overwhelming our health care systems in the coming weeks.”
Dr. Kornegay highlighted the need to continue to follow public health guidance while we wait for a vaccine to be available and accessible to everyone in order to keep our family and our community at large safe from COVID-19. “Help is on the way with vaccines,” continued Dr. Kornegay, “and we all need to work together to reduce the enormous increase in cases that have followed the Thanksgiving holiday. Stay home, stay safe and stay hopeful. Vaccines have been successful in ending epidemics and pandemics of multiple diseases, and our COVID vaccine efforts will get us to the other side of this pandemic.”
The Stay Well SAW Community Commitments and related messaging are available for viewing and download at the United Way SAW website, www.unitedwayga.org/stay-well-saw-0.
Local organizations and businesses can also request for their logo to be featured on the document by emailing Kristi@unitedwaysaw.org. Printed copies of the commitments, customized with your logo, can be provided upon request.