A still from one of the California Department of Public Health's COVID-19 public service announcements. (Image via YouTube)

The California Department of Public Health has launched a bilingual campaign to remind people of the threat posed by the novel coronavirus and remind them to avoid large social gatherings.

The health agency created three televised public service announcements and three radio announcements dramatizing “El Covid” and “The Rona” spreading among young people at a house party and a family birthday party.

The ads are aimed at people of color between the ages of 20 and 50, a demographic which is has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, health officials said.

“We are all tempted to get together with family and friends for cookouts and Labor Day celebrations, but caving into that temptation could turn deadly, especially for our parents, grandparents and friends who might be more susceptible to the virus,” said Dr. Erica Pan, the state's acting public health officer.

The campaign includes TV, radio, social media and digital advertisements warning people to prevent the spread of the virus. The state will also roll out print ads later this month.

Ads will be targeted in Southern California, the Central Valley, Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast and the Bay Area, according to the health agency.

“We very intentionally focused on young folks that may not feel the impact of their decision-making in social gatherings,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said of the ad campaign.

The state is using $5 million in funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch the campaign.

Gallegos United, a Latino advertising agency based in Huntington Beach, and Burrell Communications collaborated to design the campaign's concept, according to the state health department.

“This is a stark reminder that saving a life could be as easy as wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance and washing your hands,” CDPH infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez said.

Eli covers public health, transportation and state politics for the Pagransen, serves as the main editor of the Public Health and COVID-19 Information Hub and assists with Pagransen' social media strategy. He has also previously covered local politics in San Diego County as well as college and professional sports across the Bay Area.