SAN FRANCISCO—Mayor London Breed announced on September 2 a citywide campaign to encourage residents, workers, and visitors in San Francisco to wear face masks at all times outside the home.

The campaign is conducted by the City in collaboration with multiple organizations including the California Academy of Sciences, the African-American Arts and Cultural District, the Latino Task Force, Self-Help for the Elderly, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Opportunities for All. 

The city will install posters, signage, and digital billboards in the area where people tend to gather in order to raise awareness of the importance of wearing face coverings all the time when they are outside. They will also make advertisements with TV, radio, print, social media and other platforms by using the hashtag #MaskTheSFup, said the Office of the Mayor. 

Mayor London Breed commented along with this new campaign as follows;

“Everyone has a part to play and wearing a mask, socially distancing, and frequent hand washing is key. The good news is that most people are already on board. But we still have to remind people that we are in this for the long run, and if we want to keep reopening, we will have to keep wearing masks when we leave home.”

San Francisco was one of the first cities to issue Shelter-In-Place order on March 17. Back in 1918, when the Spanish influenza pandemic raged in the United States, the mask policy caused political division. Medical authorities claimed the importance of wearing masks to halt the spread of the infection, and some people resisted by organizing an “Anti-Mask League”.

Some residents dismissed the order, wearing masks improperly, which resulted in hundreds of arrests and even a shooting, said the Business Insider. Some fought against the government overreach, believing that the masks cannot avoid the disease and their constitutional freedom was threatening, as the New York Times reported.

Anti-mask protests are have transpired during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds have gathered for an anti-mask demonstration in Edinburgh on September 5.