As the holidays kick off and revelers and shoppers are more likely to spend time out and about in groups, the Metro Public Health Department is looking for volunteers to help spread the word about masks and social distancing. Katie Stone from Metro Public Health took time to answer some questions for Hands On Nashville about how a mask and social distancing ambassador spends a volunteer shift.
HON: What will a shift as a mask and social distancing ambassador look like for a volunteer?
Katie: The volunteers will initially meet up as a group with the Health Dept representative and will be given a hat and a yellow “Public Health Volunteer” shirt to clearly identify them. From there, depending on the number of people available, we will disperse and walk around to ensure visibility. Volunteers will work in groups of 2.
HON: To what parts of town will volunteers deploy?
Katie: The current areas are Lower Broadway, Opry Mills Mall, and Green Hills Mall. However, some of those may change based on need and number of signups.
HON: What happens if someone takes offense to the volunteer’s suggestions?
Katie: The volunteer should simply walk away and let the Health Dept representative know if they have any concerns.
HON: Why are these volunteer ambassadors important to Metro’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19?
Katie: As is now widely known, the wearing of masks and maintaining distance from others greatly reduces the spread of COVID-19. However, pandemic fatigue is setting in, and we have found that a visible reminder (by way of people wearing yellow “Public Health Volunteer” shirts and hats) of the need to continue following recommendations is very helpful in encouraging those out in public to wear their masks and remain socially distant. By encouraging people to wear masks and stay socially distanced, volunteers can help stop the spread and keep our city and economy going until COVID-19 is behind us.