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#SBCountyTogether Communication Program

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2021

When the COVID-19 shutdown hit in March 2020, municipalities nationwide were thrust into the communications spotlight. Americans were scared, confused and desperate for accurate and trustworthy information. Mixed messages were coming from federal and state government, as well as mass media, putting the onus on counties to take charge to inform citizens on details behind the earliest stay-at-home order in the nation. On March 15, 2020, nobody predicted the pandemic would extend into the summer, much less carry over into 2021. San Bernardino County, geographically the largest county in the U.S. with nearly 2.2 million residents, had to launch strategic marketing and communications efforts to 1) promote safe practices for stay-at-home orders, 2) emphasize the critical need for COVID-19 testing to slow the spread of the virus, and ultimately 3) advocate the community need to be vaccinated as the way out of the pandemic and to re-open the local economy. San Bernardino County leadership in collaboration with its department of public health, and a team of public information professionals sprang into action and launched the #SBCountyTogether initiative, a marketing and communications campaign for all-things COVID-19 response. The following summary details how San Bernardino County has used strategic public information measures to navigate the pandemic and use education to shift from being a highly impacted county to a model with BMPs for civic education, public information, and social equity.

Mr. David Wert
Public Information Officer