Comeback KC launches COVID-19 donates mask, launches resources for responsible return

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As a nearly two-month shelter-in-place order starts to lift, Kansas Citians are beginning to venture out again. As a community with multiple states, counties and municipalities, we know that we have to create a single source of public information about how to reopen the city amid a still clear and present risk from COVID-19.

Comeback KC is a public service communications campaign that aims to provide a single source of information on COVID for the entire metro, in an inspiring way. The brainchild of business, nonprofit and public health leaders, Comeback KC is encouraging people to engage in testing, contact tracing and other COVID-19 precautions to reopen the economy the right way — safely and responsibly.

The team has launched a website at comebackkc.com to collect regional news about COVID-19 along with recommendations from local health officials for how to reopen safely. This Friday, May 15, Comeback KC encourages people to recognize the importance of wearing a mask by taking to Instagram for a Virtual Mask Party.

In addition to mask-wearing, Comeback KC advocates for widespread testing and contact tracing.

“We believe that testing and contact tracing need to be as ambitious and widespread as stay-at-home orders have been, and that’s why we’re launching Comeback KC — because we want people to know how to return safely,” says Dr. Allen Greiner, a physician and population health expert at The University of Kansas Health System, who is an advisor to Comeback KC.

“From last year’s Super Bowl Season, to the Royals series runs, Kansas City is a town known for our comebacks. To win this one, we need to do it right,” Greiner says.

Comeback KC is the product of C19KC. Founded by four local CEOs and including organizations such as Blue KC and MARC, C19KC convened two months ago to build a coalition of community stakeholders to help fill the federal, state and local gap in testing and other coronavirus response measures.

“We recognized early that for the KC metro to re-open safely, we had to do whatever we could to get testing into the hands of local healthcare workers,” says Tyler Nottberg, CEO of U.S. Engineering. “Our goal was to figure out how we could play a role in helping to stabilize the entire community over the coming months. It’s not worth it to re-open if doing so puts countless lives at risk.”

C19KC’s first action was to purchase 50,000 testing kits and make them available to the University of Kansas Health System and others. With more kits on the way soon, and a contact tracing app available for free download to help Kansas Citians privately track their movement, the group’s next move is to spread awareness. For that, they are seeking all Kansas Citians’ help.

“This is about us coming together as a community.  It’s not only about keeping yourself healthy, but it’s also about looking out for people who are most vulnerable — like the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions, and people who are disenfranchised,” says Dr. Erin Corriveau, Deputy Health Officer at the Wyandotte County Public Health Dept.

Find out how to join the #ComebackKC movement at ComebackKC.

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