To date COVID-19 outreach campaigns had not earned the trust of immigrant and refugee communities to help prevent further spread of the virus, resulting in abnormally high cases in those communities. As an example, Hispanic or Latino people make up only 17% of Illinois’ population but accounted for 40% of the state’s cases and 21% of deaths.
The fear of unknown costs—both ﬁnancial and to immigration status—were enough to keep immigrants and refugees from moving forward with testing and treatment. Skepticism of medical and state institutions as well as cultural mindsets may also be driving a lack of hygiene compliance. These barriers are contributing factors to the further spread of COVID-19.
To build trust among someef the most aﬀected communities (Hispanic, ChhPolish, Arabic and Pakistani), we developed a campaign that tapped into cultural insights to help inform them about CURES-funded and GRF-funded resources and programs, while educating immigrants and refugees about COVID-19 testing, prevention, and treatment with customized messages around the channels that make these communities feel closer to home.