Protecting Vulnerable Communities: OC API Taskforce Expands Free COVID-19 Testing & Other Resources
Orange County continues to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 testing and other essential services to the most vulnerable populations.
“The pandemic has caused fear and anxiety in many ethnic communities that face language barriers and limited access to health care and other resources,” said Supervisor Andrew Do. “The County continues to make it more accessible for residents of all backgrounds to get the services they need.”
Last month, the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by Vice Chairman Andrew Do and Supervisor Doug Chaffee to expand COVID-19 testing in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) and the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) communities, mirroring the Latino Health Equity Initiative.
In collaboration with the Health Care Agency, a coalition of Asian American and Pacific Islander agencies throughout Orange County formed the OC API Taskforce.
Supervisor Do, who authored the countywide language access policy back in April to ensure equal access of health-related information, commends the taskforce for helping address the cultural insecurities that we see in the API community.
“Residents whose primary language is not English may be hesitant to reach out for health assistance,” said Supervisor Do. “That is why it is so essential for community-based organizations to be the lead front as we continue to address barriers to testing and care that these communities may experience.”
In addition to expanding testing capacity and follow up, the OC API Taskforce also provides food assistance, mental health services, and housing assistance for those who need to quarantine away from family.
“COVID-19 has further exacerbated the economic and health disparities that negatively impact ethnically minority communities,” said Supervisors Do.” The taskforce will provide our vulnerable populations with testing and educational resources that could mitigate the effects of the disparities from COVID-19.”
For more information on the OC API COVID-19 Taskforce and testing locations, please visit www.apitaskforce.org.
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Orange County Vice Chairman Andrew Do represents the First District communities of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Westminster, Fountain Valley, and Midway City. One of the first officials in the state to propose a face covering mandateSupervisor Andrew Do is advocating for science-based COVID-19 policies. In addition to health and safety-based COVID-19 response planning, Vice Chairman Do has reformed Orange County’s mental health services, expanded access to health care, and led efforts to combat homelessness.