Resources: New Information in the Fight Against COVID
5 Important Things to Know about the Delta Variant (from the CDC)
But first, what is it? We know COVID-19 is a virus. Viruses constantly change to adapt and survive. Variants are “mutant” versions of the COVID-19 virus. The Delta variant is a similar, but stronger version of the COVID-19 virus. That’s why knowing about the Delta variant is so important.
- Delta is more contagious than the other virus strains. That means it can spread much faster from person to person.
- Unvaccinated people are at risk. People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk –including kids and young people.
- Delta could lead to ‘hyperlocal outbreaks.’ If you live in an area where many friends, family and neighbors are NOT vaccinated, Delta can spread very quickly! Encourage your loved ones to get a vaccine ASAP!
- There is still more to learn about Delta. Doctors and scientists study the Delta variant every day to find how sick Delta can make a person or if it will affect health in the long-term. Until we know the answers, see #5.
- Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccine yet, call us and we can help you find a vaccine site. Plus, wear a mask in indoor public places!
If you have questions about the Delta variant, call your Access to Care doctor – they are there to help!
Need a vaccine? Call the ATC Resource Desk at 708-531-0680, go to www.myshotcookcounty.com/locations or call 833-308-1988
In August, Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) launched the “Destination: Vaccination” program, which provides free rides to vaccination sites throughout suburban Cook County. Access to Care is proud to assist Cook County with this new program. To set up a free ride, call the Destination: Vaccination hotline at 833-308-1988 and they will set up a ride for you to a vaccination site. You can also call our office at 708-531-0680 (Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm).
COVID-19 Vaccines and Communities of Color: Providing Information & Addressing Concerns
For over 30 years, Access to Care has provided primary health care services to those in need. Most of our members are people of color who have been historically underserved in health care. Our focus in 2020 was to help support our members and communities by providing even easier access to health care services; sharing frequent, trusted information; and relieving pandemic-related worries.
In 2021, the negative impacts of the pandemic are still felt among our members and the communities we serve. Access to Care joined with County and local partners to address health equity and access by making over 1,100 vaccine appointments in 5 weeks. We have been promoting vaccinations sites and informational messages about masking, contact tracing, social distancing, and vaccine safety.
Vaccines to protect us from COVID-19 are now recommended for individuals 12 and older. Opportunities to receive a vaccine are now readily available. However, there are concerns in communities of color about equity (making sure everyone that wants a vaccine can get one) and hesitancy (why some people do not want to get the vaccine). Most US states report that Black and Latinx populations have received smaller shares of vaccinations than White populations.
On May 17, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 56% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, 62% were White, 13% were Hispanic, and 9% were Black.
To address vaccine concerns, in the hopes of increasing vaccination rates for people of color, Access to Care has compiled some resources for our members, partners, and communities to help reach communities of color. The list is not exhaustive, but we will add to the list as we become aware of additional resources. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a resources you’d like us to add.
THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us
In March 2021, THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us campaign was launched to provide Black communities with credible information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Campaign was co-developed by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and the Black Coalition Against COVID.
Despite having one of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the US, Black Americans are among those least likely to get the vaccines.
THE CONVERSATION: Between Us, About Us campaign features open, honest conversations with Black doctors, nurses and researchers dispel misinformation and provide accessible facts in over 50 FAQ videos in this living video library—delivering the information Black people are asking for about the COVID-19 vaccines.
THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN
In May 2021, THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN expanded to address information needs about the COVID-19 vaccines in the Latinx community. This part of the campaign is produced by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) and presented with UnidosUS.
Eligibility, access issues, and vaccine safety are among issues discussed in 75+ FAQ videos from Latinx doctors, nurses and promotoras (community health workers). Available in English and Spanish.
Beyond providing facts and dispelling misinformation, the health care workers in THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN share their own experiences getting vaccinated. They talk about what it means for them both personally and professionally, and their hopes for the Latinx community.
Prioritizing Equity Series: “Trustworthiness & Vaccines”
To understand and address vaccine hesitancy and the roots of medical mistrust among Black Americans, look to the U.S. Public Health Service Study at Tuskegee—but not as an isolated event. Rather, it is one component of structural racism that requires structural solutions to overcome as the nation seeks to maximize COVID-19 vaccination to speed the pandemic’s end. In “Trustworthiness & Vaccines,” a recent episode in the American Medical Association (AMA)”Prioritizing Equity” video series, a panel of experts discussed vaccine hesitancy and what can be done about it. Prioritizing Equity is a web series from the AMA that features diverse perspectives on health equity from advocates working to address the root causes of inequity in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19!” Campaign from Salud America!
“Latinos have suffered high rates of illness, hospitalizations, and death brought by COVID-19. As Latinos, we are resilient. But part of our resiliency requires action, especially with the emergence of new COVID-19 vaccines. Our team at Salud America! …created this “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” campaign in English and Spanish to help you juntos/together to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19. From skipping get-togethers with la familia to wearing a mask and physical distancing, we can reduce the spread of this raging virus. And we can get the COVID-19 vaccine, when available!”
Toolkits from the Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative
The Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative are leading a massive communications effort to educate the American public and build confidence around the COVID-19 vaccines. Several toolkits have been developed to help community leaders share information with the public. All shareable resources such as social graphics, PSA videos, influencer videos, and flyers, can be used free of charge.
Created for Black Communities
Created for Hispanic Communities
When we all wear masks, we take care of each other and everyone is protected. #MASKUP
Wear your Mask Correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
Wear a Mask to Prevent Getting and Spreading COVID-19
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth
- Wear a mask in public and around people who don’t live in your household, especially when it’s difficult to stay 6 feet apart
- Wear a mask correctly for maximum protection
- Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead
- Don’t touch the mask. If you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
Take Off Your Mask Carefully When You’re Home
- Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops
- Handle only by the ear loops or ties
- Fold outside corners together and put the mask aside for washing
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing a mask and wash your hands immediately afterwards
Contact tracing is a proven health practice that health departments use to look at disease outbreaks. Contact tracing is a very important tool in the fight against COVID-19. It is most effective when used in combination with wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing your hands.
If you tested positive for COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone who tested positive, a worker from the CCDPH may call you. The number they will call from is “IL COVID HELP” or 312-777-1999. They can offer support and answer questions. Please answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19!
Assistance to Communities
We recently asked members to tell us how COVID-19 had affected them and their families. We wanted to share resources specific to the needs identified:
Jobs and Unemployment
- Illinois Department of Employment Security (unemployment)
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (find jobs; learn new skills)
- Cook County Government (find jobs)
Rent or mortgage; utility bills and other bills
- Housing Forward or call 708-338-1724
- State of IL Utility Bill Help or 217-785-2533
- As an ATC member, you can receive a 90-day medication supply for a 30-day cost, and help with medication costs. Call or email the Resource Desk for more information
Food and household items
- Greater Chicago Food Depository or call 773-247-3663
- ABE – State of Illinois site that helps with food and other needs
- Chicago Furniture Bank – helps with furniture and home furnishings
Stress and worry
- As an ATC member, you can receive counseling sessions (up to 8 sessions) for a $5 co-pay. Call or email the Resource Desk for more information.
Still looking for more help? We encourage to call your local township or city offices. They may have services for their residents.
Or contact our Resource Desk at 708-531-0680 or email@example.com.