HOLYOKE — OneHolyoke Community Development Corp. received a Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Grant 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 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.
The public information campaign will be 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. 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 page on OneHolyoke CDC’s website, oneholyoke.org, will provide a collection of resources, blogs, and videos for the community.
Juan Flores, a Latino Holyoke resident, will coordinate social-media and related placements and engagements to educate the community about COVID-19 education and safety. Flores recently earned an associate degree in computer support from Holyoke Community College.
Holyoke is consistently listed as high-risk for COVID-19, according to the state’s COVID-19 map, updated weekly. Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latinos are hospitalized from COVID-19 at four times the rate of white Americans.