Masks and face coverings
Public Health strongly recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings — regardless of vaccination status — in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.
El Paso County is working to reach out to impacted communities by:
Underlying health and social inequities put many groups, including racial and ethnic minority groups, at increased risk of getting sick, having more severe illness, and dying from COVID-19. Certain groups, including racial and ethnic minority groups, are also unequally affected by unintended economic, social and secondary health consequences of COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as social distancing.
“Health equity” means that everyone has the opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. Equitable opportunity includes equitable access to and distribution of resources. When policies, programs, and systems that support health are equitable, poor health outcomes can be reduced, health disparities can be prevented, and the whole of society benefits.
Some racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, play, and worship affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes, such as COVID-19 infection, severe illness and death. These conditions are known as social determinants of health. Long-standing inequities in social determinants of health that affect these groups, such as poverty and healthcare access, are interrelated and influence a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes.
The pandemic has been particularly difficult and deadly for people who are Black, Latinx and Native American, as well as immigrants. This is not due to any genetic or biological predisposition. These communities have experienced more negative impacts from the pandemic due to a chronic lack of access to quality, affordable health care, which leads to underlying health conditions that put individuals at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Additionally, these communities have higher percentages of individuals in jobs which do not allow them to work from home.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nationally:
Both Pfizer and Moderna required that the studies include volunteers who are high risk, have an underlying condition (like diabetes or obesity) or belong to specific racial and ethnic groups.
In Phase 3 clinical trials, large groups of trial participants tested the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Those groups included diverse volunteers:
While COVID-19 impacts different groups disproportionately, the trials found no difference in how effective the vaccines are across different demographics.
No, there is no experimentation. This is a valid concern, and it is important to recognize why there is mistrust and hesitancy. Black and African American communities have suffered a long history of ethical violations and injustices. These injustices still affect health outcomes in some medical settings to this day.
The COVID-19 vaccines were studied across diverse and high-risk populations, all of whom bravely volunteered to participate, and the safety and effectiveness have been proven.
Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. It means empowering community voices to guide and drive decision-making and to help us better understand and address barriers.
Health disparities are differences in health outcomes that are closely linked with social, economic and environmental disadvantage. Health disparities are often driven by the social conditions in which individuals live, learn, work and play.
The five key topic areas of social determinants of health listed below contribute to racial and ethnic minority groups being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Discrimination, which includes racism and associated chronic stress, influences each of these key topic areas.
These factors may increase risk of COVID-19 exposure, illness, hospitalization, long-term health and social consequences, and death. To stop the spread of COVID-19, we need to ensure resources are equitably available for everyone to maintain physical and behavioral health. Resources include easy access to information, goods and services, affordable testing, and medical and behavioral health care that are all tailored to meet the needs of people from diverse communities.
Community- and faith-based organizations, employers, healthcare systems and providers, public health agencies, policy makers, and others all have a part in helping to promote fair access to health.
We need programs and practices that fit the communities where people live, learn, work, play and worship.
The Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce exists to ensure that all groups – regardless of race, ethnicity, ability and other factors – have all the facts to make informed decisions about the safety of vaccines for their families, and to hold leaders accountable for ensuring access to these vaccines for all. Taskforce members represent a diverse collection of Coloradans working to ensure all communities have all the facts to keep their families healthy.
President Joe Biden has ordered the federal government to pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality. Affirmatively advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity is the responsibility of the whole of our Government. Because advancing equity requires a systematic approach to embedding fairness in decision-making processes, executive departments and agencies must recognize and work to redress inequities in their policies and programs that serve as barriers to equal opportunity.
The Federal Government’s goal in advancing equity is to provide everyone with the opportunity to reach their full potential. Consistent with these aims, each agency must assess whether, and to what extent, its programs and policies perpetuate systemic barriers to opportunities and benefits for people of color and other underserved groups. Such assessments will better equip agencies to develop policies and programs that deliver resources and benefits equitably to all.
Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE COVID-19 VACCINE OR COMMUNITY INFORMATION AND REFERRALS:
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free, confidential vaccine referrals, community information/resources. Available in multiple languages.
TEXT “vaccine” (FOR ENGLISH) OR “vacuna” (FOR SPANISH) TO 667873
to get contact information for your preferred vaccine provider
COVID-19 VACCINE HOTLINE
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Answers available in multiple languages.
For more information visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.