COVID-19 Disparities Task Force created to help stop spread of virus in Erie

Local News

Growing concerns over the rising number of local COVID-19 cases. The disparity in those who are testing positive has a new task force looking to combat the spread of COVID-19 in some of the vulnerable neighborhoods within the City of Erie.

The Minority Community Investment Coalition has found that about 53% of COVID-19 cases in the City of Erie are within its serving area. Now, they’re doing what they can to make sure that number doesn’t grow.

The COVID-19 Disparities Task Force brings attention, expertise and resources to bear on the disproportionate impact of the virus on vulnerable populations in Erie.

“The MCIC is here to help and we are here as a partner in the community in making sure that all members in the community have access to the information that we are going to be able to provide.” said Shantel Hilliard, Executive Director of the Booker T. Washington Center.

The task force will be composed of local health care workers, city leaders and the Erie County Health Department. The hope is that a variety of people joining the task force will make the group stronger.

“We’ve learned that we are all in this together; especially here in Erie this is something that we do, we move together to help support each other and I am very excited to see so many people at the table to help support those in need.” said Nina Ferraro, Manager of Community Affairs at AHN Saint Vincent and Hallmark.

Within the task force, there are four different committees which different committees look to help serve the neighborhoods that are most affected by COVID-19.

These committees include:

  • The Executive Committee
  • Tracking and Data
  • Outreach and Education
  • Testing and Services

“We feel that in order to really have an impact within the 16503, 16504, 16507, 16510, and 16511 zip codes, we need to really take an in-depth look at these zip codes and the people within those communities.” said James Sherrod, Executive Director of the MLK Center.

The task force has secured more than 2,500 tests for COVID-19 and the task force explained the hope is to roll out testing within the next few weeks.

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Pennsylvania COVID-19 Map

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

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