BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Health launched the “Don’t Invite COVID” campaign to encourage Marylanders to continue to get tested for COVID-19 and participate in contact tracing after a positive test result or exposure.

This campaign is the latest effort from MDH to help slow the spread of COVID, as vaccination remains key to ending the pandemic.

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The new campaign debuted on social media and will run through October. It will feature TV and radio public service announcements and additional outdoor and digital media.  MDH will release themed messaging as the campaign progresses into the summer and early fall months.

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“As more Marylanders are vaccinated against COVID-19, we know more and more people will begin to return to doing the things that we’ve all missed over the last year, especially when it comes to gathering with family and friends,” said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “While vaccines are highly effective, testing and contact tracing remain critical to protecting the most vulnerable among us, until we reach herd immunity.”

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The new campaign’s messaging will encourage such vigilance especially around events—including holidays like Father’s Day and Independence Day and summer traditions — like family reunions and barbeques when people are more likely to gather together.

Because no vaccine is 100 percent effective, full vaccinated individuals are still encouraged to get tested for COVID-19, if they are showing symptoms or have been exposed.

As of May 10, Maryland has reported 453,401 cases of COVID-19 and reports a 3.06 percent 7-day average positivity rate.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff