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What county health leaders are doing to bridge COVID-19 testing gaps

Original post made on Nov 25, 2020

People of color have been the most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and San Mateo County is working on reducing disparities through testing initiatives, county health officials said in a panel discussion hosted Nov. 19.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 10:38 AM

Comments (1)

Posted by Mark Dinan
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2020 at 12:23 pm

Mark Dinan is a registered user.

San Mateo County has done very little in East Palo Alto in the way of community education and outreach, and next to nothing done for prevention. Providing a testing site is nice, but the truth is that the testing sites in EPA have been used by people in surrounding communities much more than people in EPA themselves. The County Health officers have next to no presence in social media, and the messaging I have seen has been focused as much on flu prevention as COVID-19. East Palo Alto has the highest rate of COVID infection in the Bay Area, and the failure of the County (our public health officer) is stunning. These are some things that the County could be doing and has not done:

1) Measure COVID levels in raw sewage to give an accurate real time account of COVID levels in the city
2) Distribute free surgical masks to every household in the city - 1 million masks over the next three months should do the trick. This would be ~$150k well spent.
3) Rigorously inspect businesses in EPA for COVID safety - IKEA had a large outbreak among employees that was traced to a breakroom, and the County Health Officer apparently was not aware of it
4) Social Media outreach in Spanish, Tongan, Samoan, etc. I help run the largest social media group in EPA (East Palo Alto Neighbors on Facebook, 6400 members) and there is no presence there or on other sites.
5) Provide accurate information regarding ventilation, social distancing, and mask wearing. If you are encouraging "hygiene theater" instead of opening windows, you are part of the problem not the solution.

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