Tony Kuo MD, MSHS
Development of a COVID-19 Biweekly Digest
Background: More than 29 million cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, with more than 500,000 COVID-19 related deaths reported. California has been highly impacted with about 3.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, accounting for 12% of all US cases. As a county, Los Angeles - home to about 10 million individuals - has experienced approximately 1.1 million COVID-19 cases and 22,000 COVID-19 related deaths. Besides impacting health, the pandemic has also impacted the employment sector, the educational system, and the US economy. In addition, COVID-19 has highlighted and heightened existing health disparities, with the disease disproportionately affecting communities of color on a national and local level.
Objectives: To develop a series of biweekly COVID-19 digests in order to inform County strategies and prioritized response to the COVID-19 pandemic, keep its disaster service workers up to date on the science of and practice to manage COVID-19, and facilitate culturally-sensitive planning and responses to outbreak investigation and management.
Methods/Steps: Literature reviews from September 28, 2020 to ongoing, with focused key terms (e.g., transmission, testing, vaccination, COVID-19) using reputable online database sources. Digests undergo peer review, with final copies disseminated to outbreak investigators and team staff at the LA County Department of Public Health (LACDPH).
Implications/Future Direction: Responding appropriately to the COVID-19 pandemic requires a multifaceted and multidisciplinary approach. Accurate and trustworthy information coming from trusted culturally-competent and/or racial-concordant messengers, such as community leaders and clinicians, could have beneficial impact on community testing and vaccine hesitation. Future direction includes a version for consumers/patients.