by Jill Harmacinski, Eagle Tribune
Starting at 5 a.m. Friday, Lawrence police officers, state troopers and members of the National Guard will be in city neighborhoods distributing flyers about the pandemic-level coronavirus, commonly called COVID-19. Neighborhoods in both north and south Lawrence will be included in the "educational campaign," officials said. Flyers about the need to stay home, social distancing and hand washing will be tucked in the windshields of unoccupied vehicles, said police Chief Roy Vasque. "They will be putting the information on the windshields and going on our way," said Vasque, noting face-to-face contact will not be initiated. Roughly 60 personnel will be included in the educational effort, which will run from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, he said. The fliers are written in both English and Spanish. "Hopefully, they will get the message we want them to stay home," Vasque said. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 19 cases of COVID-19 in the city, although Rivera said he believes that number is actually 10 to 25% higher. In Lawrence and surrounding communities, a state of emergency has been declared due to COVID-19.