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Monterey County COVID Collaborative Helps Residents Find Testing Sites

In Monterey County, the VIDA project and the Monterey County COVID-19 Collaborative, grantees of PHI’s Together Toward Health program, are providing COVID-19 testing and vaccination information in English, Spanish, and Triqui, Zapoteco, and Mixteco, indigenous languages of Mexico.  They reach about 7,000 people each month and in January 2022 they tested 2,688 people for COVID.

  • Monterey County Herald
people in medical masks at a vaccination clinic

In the first nine days of January, the VIDA (Virus Integrated Distribution of Aid) project in Monterey County tested 2,688 people for COVID-19. That is 33% more than they tested in the entire month of December, according to Kim Stemler, spokeswoman for the Monterey County COVID Collaborative.

Of those 2,688 tested, 624 were positive for COVID-19, or 23%. Stemler said that this prevalence makes testing and the sharing of testing sites even more important.

The Monterey County COVID Collaborative team has been compiling information for where people can go to get free (no insurance billing) or no-cost (will bill insurance, but no cost to the patient) clinics available from week-to-week. In addition to English and Spanish, one of the partner organizations, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo Indígena Oaxaqueño (CBDIO), is providing information in Triqui, Zapoteco, and Mixteco, indigenous languages from the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero in Mexico.

The COVID-19 Collaborative is a countywide multi-sector collaboration of existing and needed efforts fighting the impacts of COVID-19 in Monterey County. Its goal is to advance a coordinated action plan driven by science and best practices in public health and equity. Led by the Community Foundation, it brings together more than 75 participants from the county, multiple cities, agriculture, hospitality, education, healthcare, community-based organizations and philanthropy to lower the spread of COVID-19.

The VIDA collaborative program started a year ago and is now reaching about 7,000 people each month through phone calls, information distribution and personal outreach with the help of a cadre of community health workers trained and equipped to deliver information about the importance of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations and assist community members with access to resources.

The  COVID-19 Collaborative is a project of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. The Collaborative and VIDA Programs are made possible by the Monterey County and the Community Foundation for Monterey County with support from Together Toward Health, a program of the Public Health Institute, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Click below to read the full article in the Monterey County Herald.

Originally published by Monterey County Herald


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