Video asks folks to be a 'Friend of the Fish'

by HEIDI DESCH
Editor | November 20, 2020 9:00 AM

The Whitefish task force aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 released its first video this week featuring members of the community.

"The video asks that we all unify to preserve the vitality of Whitefish," said City Manager Dana Smith, "With case numbers rising every day, it's important that we work harder to slow the spread of this virus. What better way to get the word out than by leveraging the voices of the people who live here."

Twelve Whitefish residents appear in the video including a young student, business representatives, medical professionals and community members. The video encourages folks to be a “Friend of the Fish” by wearing a mask, physical distancing and washing hands frequently.

“I love Whitefish because I have great friends and teachers,” says the young student near the beginning of the video with other community members adding what they love about Whitefish.

“We all need to be a friend of the fish,” adds a North Valley Hospital emergency room nurse.

So restaurants can keep serving, friends can enjoy coffee together, lodging can stay open and students can keep going to school, the speakers in the video conclude.

Community leaders earlier this month formed the task force they say is aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Whitefish so that schools and businesses can stay open. Members of the group include representatives from the city, Whitefish School District, medical community and representatives from businesses.

On Friday morning there were about 1,920 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, according to the Flathead City-County Health Department and Whitefish had 129 active cases. There have been 5,488 total confirmed cases of the virus in the county. There have been 27 deaths in the county.

Statewide as of Friday morning there more than 50,000 confirmed cases and 561 deaths, according to the state.

As of Nov. 15, the Whitefish School District had recorded a total of 51 students testing positive for the virus and 15 staff members. The school district has 1,850 students enrolled and 254 staff members.

The Whitefish COVID-19 task force has been meeting regularly and expects to continue to distribute educational materials and marketing to reach the community.

Smith said in the coming weeks the task force expects to put up banners around downtown sharing the same messaging of being a “Friend of the Fish” and place advertisements on the SNOW bus. She said the messaging effort is being paid for through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding.

“We’re also looking at purchasing takeout boxes with the same messaging because that will also be a way to support restaurants because we know businesses are struggling,” she said.

For more information and to view the video, visit whitefishcovidcares.com.