New initiative aims to address COVID-19 in Nevada’s vulnerable populations

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s test positivity rate is now 21.2%. A COVID-19 call today addressed the surge and a new effort focusing on minority populations.

The state’s Office of Minority Heath and Equity (NOMHE) plans to release a COVID response tool kit. It aims to educate organizations focused on addressing health needs of vulnerable communities.

The tool kit consists of four categories:

  • Cultural literacy strategy
  • Outreach and public awareness strategy
  • Contact tracing and emergency response strategy
  • Action planning and reporting strategy

The office wants staff to work with groups across the state to share the information to try and reduce the spread among minorities.

The Hispanic community has been hit the hardest with the virus in Southern Nevada. Campaigns like “Esta en Tus Manos” aim to raise awareness about COVID, but certain situations make it impossible to control the spread.

“We know that here in the south, we have a propensity of casino activity, and the demographics of the employment base does tend to lean towards a minority population,” explained Tina Dortch, program manager of NOMHE. “And because of the inability to shelter in place, we continue to see that exposure.”

NOMHE plans to announce when the tool kit will go live next week. It may help as our positivity rate and hospitalization numbers go up.

The state expects the surge to continue because of possible Thanksgiving exposures.

This is the eighth week in a row Clark County has been flagged for elevated disease transmission. Sixteen of 17 Nevada counties are currently flagged in the tracker.

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