OneHolyoke CDC Receives COVID-19 Community Grant
Grant provides funds for outreach and education about COVID-19 for Holyoke residents
OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation has been awarded a COVID-19 Community Grant Program by Health Resources in Action in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to provide education to Holyoke residents in order to prevent and reduce the continuing spread and rise of COVID-19.
Communities of color in Massachusetts are among the hardest hit by COVID-19 in terms of infection, illness, and death. The goal of COVID-19 Community Grants is to reduce COVID-19 infections, morbidity, and mortality among Black, Latinx, and other people of color in the hardest-hit cities in the Commonwealth. The COVID-19 Community Grant has been awarded to OneHolyoke CDC to engage the Holyoke community by developing and delivering effective messages, and further support to the hard-hit community with education, training, and outreach to effectively meet Holyoke’s specific needs.
With this grant funding, OneHolyoke CDC will conduct a public information campaign concentrated on predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods to address the disproportionate spread of the virus among communities of color.
Educational topics will cover physical distancing, mask wearing, hygiene, and other harm-reduction behaviors and activities, and will be shared widely in both English and Spanish through OneHolyoke CDC’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Posts will also feature members of the Holyoke community.
The organization will also engage media to widely disseminate information, with information tables available at community outlets in the Latinx majority neighborhoods of Holyoke.
A designated web page on OneHolyoke CDC’s website, OneHolyoke.org, will be forthcoming that will provide a collection of resources, blogs, and videos for the community.
Juan Flores, a Latino Holyoke resident, will work exclusively on this project in coordinating social media and related placements and engagements to educate the community about COVID education and safety. Flores has recently earned an Associate’s Degree in Computer Support from Holyoke Community College.
Flores will be an asset in communicating important COVID-19 information to fellow Holyoke residents, as well as assisting in the creation and distribution of resources.
Holyoke is consistently listed as high-risk for COVID-19 according to the State’s COVID-19 map, updated weekly. It has been recently reported that there are approximately 2,400 positive cases in the city of Holyoke, as of December 13, and the city’s 14-day test positivity rate is 7.34% (as of December 10).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Latinos are hospitalized from COVID-19 at four times the rate of white Americans.