The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, held a public press conference on August 18, announcing a new partnership with MaskUpMKE.org to help promote the importance of wearing a mask as the most accessible and effective way for the Milwaukee community to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The coordinated effort was highlighted by a newly wrapped Hop streetcar vehicle that was “Masked Up.” Both noses of the vehicle were adorned in a standard blue medical mask, along with a commitment to provide free masks to streetcar riders who board the vehicles without a mask of their own.
“The Hop streetcars are an incredibly visible asset for the City of Milwaukee and we are proud to donate one of our vehicles to this critical cause,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. “We are appreciative of the hard work the MaskUpMKE team is doing to support this public health initiative and we’re thrilled to be expanding our relationship even further to help make The Hop, and our whole community, even safer.”
The MaskUpMKE branding on The Hop follows the organization’s ongoing efforts to promote the use of masks or face coverings throughout the city and across the state as the most effective way for citizens to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the masks on the two ends of the streetcar, the artwork also highlights the masked-up faces of Milwaukee citizens, including Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley, who overcame a battle with COVID-19 earlier this summer.
The launch of the new MaskUpMKE streetcar coincided with the release of a new PSA, supported by United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Creative Health Collective and the broader MaskUpMKE Coalition, featuring former City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Judge Derek Mosley, and other members of the community.
“Our partnership with The Hop is another way for us to build awareness for this important cause in a visible and meaningful way,” said Loretta Kryshak of Rebel Converting, LLC., and co-founder of the MaskUpMKE movement. “The simple act of wearing a face covering can save lives, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the length and severity of this pandemic. We’re committed to ensuring our entire community sees this message, heeds this message, and has access to free and effective masks that will help stop the spread.”
The masks donated by MaskUpMKE will be available on all five Hop streetcars from August 18. They are individually packaged and include instructions for proper usage. The availability of masks on board the streetcars will complement the many additional steps being taken to keep The Hop clean and safe, including twice-daily cleanings of the vehicles and stations, and a recently-applied anti-microbial protective coating over all vehicle and station surfaces to help minimize the potential for the virus to spread.