CPC Op-Ed in World Journal: Do Your Part to Fight COVID in Your Community
CPC President and CEO Wayne Ho's op-ed was published in World Journal on August 14th. The article shares information on the New York City Test & Trace Corps and calls on everyone to do our part, too. Read the World Journal article here.
The English translation of the op-ed appears below.
Do Your Part to Fight COVID for Your Community
By Wayne Ho
Communities in New York City thrive on our closeness and connection. The well-being of our neighborhood depends on the health of every resident.
COVID-19 crisis has taken a devastating toll on our city, but New Yorkers refuse to let the need for physical distancing break the caring bonds between us. Despite the daunting challenges, we have seen our community rise up, fight back, and protect our most vulnerable neighbors. For months, we have followed the essentials—which include staying home if sick, wearing a face covering, frequent hand washing, and staying six feet apart. These actions remain our strongest tools to prevent transmission.
But to keep our loved ones safe from a resurgence of COVID, now we need to do even more. The New York City Test & Trace Corps is ready to provide all the free resources and support we need, but each one of us has to do our part, too.
As community members with a responsibility to each other, we all should get tested for COVID today. Right now, testing rates in some of our neighborhoods such as Sunset Park, Brooklyn, remain too low, while rates of transmission are higher than the citywide average. Any large gathering may present a potential exposure.
Free COVID testing is available at locations throughout the city. Find a site near you by visiting nyc.gov/covidtest
If you get a call from the Test & Trace Corps, or a phone number beginning with 212-540-XXXX or 212-242-XXXX—please answer. It could mean you tested positive for COVID, or were in close contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID. Interpreter services are available to ensure clear communication in the language of your choice.
The Test & Trace Corps provides tailored assistance to help those who test positive safely separate from others. For some, this means safely separating at home with the guidance of a resource navigator from a local community-based organization like the one I lead, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). Others may wish to separate in one of the City’s free hotel rooms, with access to round the clock care, meals, medicine, and more.
Starting this month, everyone who tests positive and all their contacts will receive a “take care” package of health and wellness supplies in the mail from the Test & Trace Corps. This includes personal protective equipment like medical grade masks, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, and thermometers, with instructions on how to use these items available in 13 languages.
The COVID-19 crisis has been an extremely difficult time for our communities. We have lost many loved ones, family members and neighbors.
It also has exposed the health disparities and structural racism that have been entrenched in our neighborhoods for decades. Latinx New Yorkers have died at almost twice the rate of White people as a result of COVID-19 in New York City. Asian Americans are struggling with unemployment and have been the victims of bias and hate crimes in connection to COVID-19.
CPC is doing everything in our power to fight this crisis. We are of the community, and we empower the community.
We are working with government agencies, neighborhood activists, faith leaders, primary care doctors, and community-based organizations to come together as a team. The shared goal is to encourage residents to get tested and, if necessary, be connected to resources that allow people to safely care for themselves and loved ones. As a resource navigator, CPC helps handle the logistics for safely separating at home.
We also recently helped launch a dedicated site in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where residents can get a rapid COVID-19 test. Tests are free, and no one will ask about your immigration status. You will find out if you are positive or negative in less than 20 minutes. If the test result is positive, there are resource navigators on site to connect residents with available resources– including hotel rooms – to help you remain housed and safely away from other people when you have the virus.
This is one way our community is coming together to fight the virus.
Right now, our communities need to help each other. We helped each other during the pandemic and must continue doing so during the recovery. The tools are available to commit ourselves to fighting COVID-19, with support from partners like the Test & Trace Corps. We must work in unison to get tested, take advantage of needed services, and follow public health guidance. In doing so, we can reduce the persistent health disparities in our communities and stop the spread of COVID-19 together.
Do your part. The health of your community depends on it.