Pandemic: Awareness, prevention campaign expands

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has expanded its multilingual Safe + Strong education and outreach campaign with a new theme and materials to help communities find simple, culturally specific information on safely connecting with family and friends this winter.

Led by the theme “Love Finds a Way,” new campaign materials and resources available in 12 languages provide fresh public health recommendations on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“Oregonians continue to show their resilience through this pandemic by finding new ways to stay connected while physically apart,” Oregon Public Health Director Rachael Banks said. “Whether it is wearing a mask when around anyone you don’t live with — including close friends and relatives — or keeping our social groups small, love, and a good plan, will keep us strong.”

Since launching in April with the support of Brink Communications, the campaign website has been a trusted place to get culturally relevant tools and information, as well as a hub for finding resources like food and rental assistance, unemployment benefits and health coverage. The campaign has partnered with more than 170 community-based organizations (CBOs) statewide to expand access to lifesaving information and support.

By working directly with community organizations representing groups most affected by health disparities, the Safe + Strong campaign will help communities continue to make safe choices, while recognizing people need simple plans to protect themselves and their families, according to the OHA.

The site’s new “Make a plan” page contains reminders and information on what activities are low, medium or high risk for spreading COVID-19.

“While hope is on its way with the arrival of vaccines, helping our communities understand and access vital information to continue to stay safe this winter is critical for everyone’s health and well-being,” Banks said. “We know how much people want to gather and spend time with their loved ones. Thankfully, there are safe ways for us to do so without spreading this deadly virus.”

OHA data show that 38% of COVID-19 cases have been linked to people who identify as Latino/a/x. And more than 50% of cases have been linked to people identifying as Black, Asian, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Pacific Islander, or Latino/a/x. The state’s history of racism and oppression, as well as inequitable access to medical services, have exacerbated the impacts of COVID-19 in many communities across the state.

The Safe + Strong campaign focuses on Oregonians who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. The expanded effort will use strategically targeted digital, radio, broadcast, print and other out-of-home advertisements to help create awareness.

Online advertisements in 12 languages — English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Korean, Hmong, Somali, Chuukese, and Marshallese — will connect Oregonians directly to resources and information on the website.

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