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The state of Vermont is set to begin a campaign to encourage people to wear masks to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday.

The governor said the goal of the program is to get people in Vermont to wear masks willingly. In other parts of the country efforts to require masks have not always been successful and those efforts have caused friction between people.

“I would rather educate, lead and inspire people to do the right thing,” the governor said during his regular virus briefing. “Right now this is a good thing to do when you can, when you can’t physically distance yourself from someone else.”

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Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said the program is beginning now and will accelerate in the coming days and include social media, signs and paid messages.

“We’ll have Vermonters talking to Vermonters about why they think it’s important to wear a mask,” Smith said.

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