VALPARAISO — The Porter County Health Department should use social media channel to alert residents to information about the pandemic and COVID-19 testing, Board of Commissioners President Jeff Good is suggesting.
“Social media is where a lot of this is going,” Good, R-Center, told Health Officer Dr. Maria Stamp. “We’re not looking to tell a story. We’re looking to push out information.”
That could include sharing a link to register for a COVID-19 test so the paperwork is already done before the patient gets to the testing site, he said.
It’s time for the Health Department to have its own social media presence, Good said.
Stamp said she appreciated the offer to consult with Curt Ellis, the commissioners’ point man on social media, to get started. Ellis has been working with the department on a daily basis for months to update the COVID-19 dashboard every day.
“I actually think that’s for your benefit as well as the consumer,” Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, said.
“It’s already helped with highway,” Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, said.
“We’ve been pushing other departments in county government to take on more of a social media presence,” Good said.
The Stormwater Management Board, meeting just before the Board of Commissioners, heard about the county’s efforts to educate the public on stormwater management issues.
MS4 Coordinator Amanda Vandenoever said she is using social media to connect with people virtually because the pandemic limits the ability to do so in person.
“We’ve been getting really good engagement, like with the drone video,” she said. “The education posts do well.”
“We can get into cross-sharing down the road,” Good said, using other county departments’ social media channels to promote each other.
“I’m excited about this,” he said, because the posts show who county employees are and that essential work is being done by in-house professionals rather than by consultants.
Gallery: New COVID-19 restrictions for Lake, Porter counties. What you need to know
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