Navicent urges mask wearing for young people

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — A COVID-19 spike in Bibb County has staff at Medical Center Navicent Health encouraging young people to wear masks.

Navicent Health started an online challenge called #WhyIMask to ask younger people to share why they wear a mask. Hopefully, this encourages others to do the same.

Doctors at Navicent say unlike earlier this spring, they are seeing an uptick in the number COVID cases among people in their 20’s and 30’s.

Dr. John Wood, an emergency medical director, says the hospital wants to find new ways to reach young people.

 “What we’ve seen with this most recent increase in COVID patients is that it is a younger population,” Dr. Wood said. “We feel like if we can connect to that population in a meaningful way, maybe we can get them to wear a mask.”

Dr. Wood says the nice weather and the time of year may contribute to the rise in cases.

“I think it’s just summertime, I think people are out together. And people are having cookouts and gatherings and going to the lake. And they may not be as vigilant about social distancing and masking as we’d like them to be,” said Wood.

Megan Allen, the public relations manager,  says the influence of social media serves as a powerful tool in flattening the curve.

“We’re definitely influenced by others,” Allen said. “We share ideas with each other and that can be a good thing when we’re sharing ideas and gaining new information.”

How to participate in the Why I Mask Challenge

  • Take a photo or video of yourself wearing your mask
  • Explain why you wear it
  • Post it on social media
  • Make sure your use #WhyIMask

The Medical Center Navicent Health says they support the proposed mask mandate for Bibb County. The hospital also encourages Bibb residents to continue social distancing, washing hands, and avoiding large gatherings.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.