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Department of Ag Launches COVID Safety Campaign

August 3rd, 2020 by Mike Vasilinda

For the first time since the pandemic hit Florida in March, the state is launching a campaign urging Floridians to be safe by wearing a mask and more.

The campaign isn’t coming from the Governor’s Office or the Department of Health, but from the Department of Agriculture.

Be Smart Florida is a simple reminder to pay attention to basic prevention guidelines.

“COVID-19 remains out of control,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried in a new digital ad for the campaign.

The digital and social media campaign comes three days after the Governor streamed a message on Facebook.

“Now is not the time to let up. We all have one goal, one state,” said Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday.

Fried said hers efforts will be broader.

“Our is multidimensional, multi channels from PSA announcements, to videos, to tool kits,” said Fried.

The campaign will feature star athletes and politicians.

Fried is again calling for a statewide mask order.

She said it’s about safety, not her criticism of the Governor for not issuing the order.

“This is bigger than me. This is bigger than the Governor. This is about the health and wellness of our citizens and economy,” said Fried.

And the Be Smart Florida campaign isn’t costing taxpayers anything extra.

It’s being paid for within the Department’s existing budget.

The campaign has been in the works for three weeks.

Asked why it didn’t come from the Department of Health, Fried pulled no punches.

“Kinda our attempt. They have been a little bit less reluctant to respond to things that we are asking,” said Fried.

Fried also suggested scaling back the state’s reopening efforts with greater restaurant restrictions and others, arguing Florida closed too late and opened to early.

Positive tests and deaths were down Monday, but test sites in several cites were closed over the weekend as the state prepared for Hurricane Isaias.

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