Healthy Communities Delaware works with others to create healthy, safe and vibrant communities across Delaware, with the goal of increasing equity in health and well-being. While health and social inequities have been present for many years, they have been exacerbated from the COVID-19 pandemic. Delawareans who are people of color have been disproportionately impacted in terms of job loss, increased likelihood of working in low-wage “essential worker” positions, as well as an increased likelihood of being hospitalized or dying from COVID.
Healthy Communities Delaware (HCD) has worked with community partners as well as the State of Delaware to assist communities and populations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. HCD assisted the State in facilitating the Community Resiliency Fund for low-income and/or communities of color, distributing over $3 million in COVID-19 CARES Act funding to meet local-level needs.
By supporting community-based organizations working in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods, Healthy Communities Delaware financially invested in programs that will mitigate or prevent more despair for these communities. For example, The Latin American Community Center (LACC) received funding to develop COVID-19 related messaging for the Hispanic community, outreach events, and COVID-19 vaccination events. La Esperanza received funding to support Resource Navigators, helping Spanish-speaking families to connect with desperately needed social services.
In addition, staff at Healthy Communities Delaware have tracked COVID-19 related data, such as testing site locations, vaccination rates amongst race/ethnicity, and vaccination site locations. Not only does this show the inequities between racial and ethnic groups, but also displays the need to improve COVID-19 relief efforts in low-income, high priority communities. By using a place-based approach, HCD has reinforced the importance and need to increase COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites in areas with decreased access to mass vaccination sites, COVID-19 information, pre-registration for such testing or vaccination events, and more.