Los Angeles County will partner with more than four dozen local community organizations to reach out to neighborhoods with high levels of coronavirus cases, as sharper increases in cases and deaths are seen among Latino residents, it was announced Wednesday.

During a daily briefing on the surge in case numbers, especially among Latino residents, Dr. Christina Ghaly announced the launch of the COVID-19 Community Equity Fund.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Public Health and our trusted community-based organizations in hard-hit neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County,” said Ghaly, who runs the county’s hospital and clinic system. “We believe the grassroots effort will help educate our residents, link them to much-needed services and help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The groups will receive funding, training and technical assistance to provide outreach, education, case investigation and contact tracing in hard-hit communities. They will also help residents connect with health and social services.

The fund is a joint effort by the county departments of Health Services and Public Health in conjunction with Community Partners, a nonprofit organization which will coordinate the efforts of the 51 community groups.

“We know the neighborhoods that are highly impacted by COVID-19 are most vulnerable due to historic and present-day inequities,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “This investment recognizes the need to support new and existing community-centered interventions to combat these injustices and take action to reduce the inequities we are seeing in our communities.”

The 51 organizations were chosen because of their experience in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services in historically underserved communities. They also have a demonstrated history in advancing equity and expertise in outreach and engagement.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis said it is important that residents trust the source of information on the virus.

“Community-based organizations are trusted messengers that share the ethnicity, language, and life experiences of the residents they serve,” Solis said. “I am pleased to see many organizations with longstanding histories of fighting for healthcare access, immigrants’ rights and social justice serving as the bridge between care and our families in a culturally appropriate manner.”

The CBOs include health care centers, immigrant rights groups, churches and other organizations. Over the course of the next year, they will receive funding ranging from $100,000 to $500,000, as well as capacity building, training and technical assistance.

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