For the Washtenaw County Health Department, using social media to protect public health was not a novel idea. In the recent past, the department’s communications director, Kayla Steinberg, has used social media to address opioid abuse, suicide, measles, hepatitis A, and Eastern equine encephalitis. When COVID-19 arrived, the department already had its social media platforms in place.
“Information spreads fast on social media, both accurate information and inaccurate information,” Steinberg says. “The inaccurate information spreads especially fast if it seems like good news – cures or prevention. People really grab onto that. We know that these miracle cures are more harmful than helpful. We combat that information and provide accurate information.”