Hollywood’s Kristen Bell promotes Oakland County’s mask campaign

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published January 12, 2021

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OAKLAND COUNTY — For those set on heading out in public with the idea of forgoing a mask, award-winning actress Kristen Bell has a message: Let it go.

Bell, star of blockbuster films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and the famed voice of Anna in Disney’s “Frozen,” took to the social media app Instagram last month to shout out Oakland County’s new public education campaign that encourages residents to keep masking up to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as they wait to be vaccinated.

“Here’s the good news: Things will get back to normal eventually. They will. But we’re not quite there yet,” said Bell to her nearly 15 million followers on Instagram. “By wearing a mask, you can decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We can beat the virus if we face it together.”

The actress now lives in Los Angeles but is a native of Huntington Woods and graduated from Shrine Catholic High School in 1998. Her post reiterated the county’s new campaign motto, “The only way to beat it is to face it,” which was launched Dec. 7. The “Veronica Mars” star tagged Oakland County government in her post, too, sporting a mask and a T-shirt with a cheeky message that read “If you can read this, you are too close.”

In the midst of what health officials describe as “pandemic fatigue,” the effort calls on Oakland County residents to continue wearing a mask, washing their hands frequently and limiting social gatherings to protect themselves and others. It’s funded by a grant from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, issued specifically for purposes of educating the public about health initiatives associated with COVID-19.

“COVID-19 safety measures remain paramount, and we’re so excited that Oakland County native Kristen Bell is lending her voice to magnify this message,” County Executive David Coulter said in a prepared statement. “We are at the beginning phase of dispensing the vaccine, which brings hope and an extra responsibility for us to mask up, socially distance and wash our hands so we can get through this and keep our communities safe.”

Bell wasn’t the only celebrity to make a public service announcement as part of the county campaign. Former Detroit Lions football great Lomas Brown Jr., former Red Wings hockey star Darren McCarty and Olympic gold medalist and “Dancing with the Stars’’ champion Meryl Davis all took part in the call to action.

Bill Mullan, Communications Director for the Oakland County Executive’s office, said he’s working with marketing staff to see how the PSAs have impacted the messaging effort, perhaps piquing interest from a wider audience.

For more information about COVID-19 in Oakland County, visit oakgov.com/covid.