We hope you had a great week. This is your chance to catch up on all things CORE in the greater Atlanta area and the state of Georgia and learn what’s coming your way this week.
REMEMBER: GET TESTED AND RETESTED FOR COVID-19
The total number of COVID-19 tests administered by CORE Georgia week of 12/14/20 – 12/20/20
Keep up the great work, CORE Georgia team!
CORE GEORGIA COMMUNITIES SPOTLIGHT
Learn about the communities CORE GA has provided COVID-19 relief services since April.
Season’s Greetings! This special edition of our CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) Georgia Community Newsletter will highlight the communities we serve. CORE intentionally targets underserved and hard-to-reach and under-resourced populations with holistic relief when disasters strike. With a decade of experience in helping vulnerable communities impacted by disasters – from the Haiti earthquake to Hurricane Dorian in The Bahamas – CORE knows how to work quickly and effectively, with the guiding premise of activating and empowering the community to overcome crisis.
As new cases of COVID-19 increase, CORE expanded its services to American cities and communities most impacted by the virus and launched its operations in Atlanta, GA on April 30 with a focus on serving vulnerable and underserved communities, targeting low-income groups, communities of color, first responders, and essential workers throughout the state of Georgia. CORE GA has administered almost 270,000 free COVID-19 tests statewide.
Ethnic / Cultural Groups
Walk-up patients in line to get tested at CORE’s Juneteenth Block Party test site.
Bethany Korean Presbyterian Church community participate in their church service.
Continuing the theme of a community-based approach to COVID-19 testing and services, the Asian American population in Atlanta was comprehensively supported. The Johns Creek Korean Church, Bethany Korean Presbyterian Church and the Promise Church all served as testing sites with more than 2,400 tests administered. Partners in this community from the BuHI (Buford Highway) Organization were leveraged to ensure CORE reached the community in an impactful way.
Drive-thru patients for COIVD-19 testing at the our Passion City Church test site in north Fulton County.
The Caucasian community makes up the majority of the population in Georgia and comprises 63% of the population in Cobb County, 55% of the population in Gwinnett County, 46% of the population in Fulton County, 47% of the population in Douglas County, and 36% of the population in DeKalb County. This community is multifaceted with essential workers, children, women and community leaders being members of this group as well. Several of our testing sites capture large segments of this community and provide comprehensive services. To date, more than 100,000 tests have been conducted in this community.
Walk-up patients wait in line to be tested at our Buford Highway test site, while staffers direct patients in cars through the drive-thru testing area.
With Spanish being the second-most popular language being spoken in Georgia, focusing on the Latinx community is essential. In partnership with the Latino Community Fund (LCF) Georgia, CORE opened a testing site in the Buford Highway area. This site, staffed by native Spanish speakers in the community, was one of CORE’s first high volume sites in Atlanta, testing more than 450 people each day.
Walk-up patients watching a demonstration before being tested at our test site in Clarkston, GA.
Refugee / Immigrant Community
In keeping with the partnership model adopted while working with the African American and Latinx communities, CORE partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Atlanta to support the refugee and immigrant communities in Clarkston. Services provided include COVID-19 testing, resource coordination for COVID-19 positive patients, community outreach canvassing to spread awareness as well as interpretation and translation services. Recording success early on, this site recorded triple the tests performed by the local health department. Officially initiated in August, this partnership targets Central and East Africans (Congolese, Central African Republican, Rwandese, Somalian, South Sudanese, Ethopian); Middle Easterns (Syrians & Afghanistans); Southeast Asians (Napali, Maylaysians, Burmese / Myanmarese, Buhutanese, & Thailandese).
A CORE testing staff member registers a patient getting tested at Sylvan Middle School. 684 tests were administered here over three days.
School Children (K-12 Public & Private)
While adolescents attending school from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade have not commonly suffered severe symptoms from COVID-19, they can be prevalent carriers of the virus, transmitting it to their family members. To combat this, CORE has partnered with several schools and a YMCA camp to provide testing and wraparound services.
COVID-19 is a major disruption to colleges and universities across the country, and Georgia is no exception. GA colleges are planning a wide range of COVID-19 testing strategies, ranging from frequent universal testing through third-party testing vendors to no campus-based testing at all. CORE has plugged into this strategy by providing testing at several colleges and universities in Georgia including Georgia State University, Morris Brown College, Life University and Kennesaw State University. More than 12,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted at tertiary institutions in Georgia.
Walk-up testing site in College Park at a Fulton County public library.
The elderly population is extremely vulnerable to morbidity and mortality due to complications of COVID-19. CORE has ensured that some key senior living facilities have testing facilities in metro Atlanta.
Walk-up testing at Metropolitian Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train station in Fulton County.
Essential workers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. CORE targets businesses and organizations with essential workers to encourage them to get tested and refer them to testing sites proximal to their homes and workplaces. Specific testing sites have been implemented at fire stations, police stations, schools, public transportation stations, retail businesses and health clinics in communities in Atlanta, all servicing essential workers.
A Community Mobilizer engaging transient community in Fulton County and conducting a needs assesment.
In keeping with the theme of partnerships, leaders within the LGBTQ+ community have joined together to amplify their impact in their community. Testing has been conducted in parallel to key events in this community including pride weekend and LGBTQ+ History Month in October. Recently, five business leaders within the Ansley Square area of Midtown hosted a community block party that featured COVID-19 testing, HIV testing conducted by Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC), a toy drive and other festive activities. This event focused on promoting a lifestyle of testing and more than 17,000 people have been tested among this community alone.
CORE GEORGIA TEAM SPOTLIGHT
Get to know the Community Outreach & Mobilization Unit
CORE GA’s team focused on targeted outreach and mobilization of vulnerable populations in Georgia.
CORE GA recognizes that community outreach and mobilization is an essential when serving vulnerable populations as they are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 contraction, information dissemination, and resource availability. In September 2020, CORE GA launched the Community Outreach and Mobilization Unit (The CO/M Unit) to align with CORE’s community-centric mission, increase our community organized effort with partners within underserved, hard-to-reach, and low-income populations with limited access to resources and to ensure lives are saved and communities are strengthened during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The CO/M Unit works to create links to community organizations and expand community networks within targeted areas. The unit reaches vulnerable populations through community mobilization activities including targeted partner outreach, community canvassing, digital outreach, and outreach events. This team of eight community mobilizers, an outreach specialist and unit manager acts as the first line of communication between CORE GA and the partners and community. This pilot unit’s best practices support the development of community mobilization in several other markets CORE is serving in Los Angeles, Oakland, Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and Chicago.
This unit aims to build trust within vulnerable communities to ultimately shift thinking and behavior related to COVID-19 relief efforts. We provide up-to-date and accurate information on CORE’s COVID-19 relief efforts (i.e. streamlined testings, relief to recover services for COVID-19 positive people, and work to overall shift public engagement with COVID-19 services from reactionary engagement to engagement based on each person’s lifestyle). They collaborate with community partners on culturally appropriate ways to do outreach and meet community needs and gather feedback from community members. The unit serves as advocates for the issues that are important to the target communities CORE GA serves.
As a developing division, The CO/M Unit relies on consistent monitoring and evaluation to track and improve their impact in the community. They support CORE GA testing operations by helping to increase and track testing at existing sites & assess the need for the development of new sites. A major element of outreach is the outreach material. The CO/M Unit provides outreach toolkits for partners that address CORE GA services and ways to increase outreach to their communities. CORE GA is currently working to create effective messaging and outreach material for the COVID-19 vaccine as it begins to roll out to communities served. The CO/M Unit will align their work to make sure vaccine education is accessible to all of CORE GA’s communities of service. We are proud of the work this unit has done in just four months and we look forward to continuing to center communities in our work through this unit.
A MESSAGE TO THE COMMUNITY
It is crucial for the community to take extreme precautions and follow CDC safety protocols to help halt the spread, especially as the numbers are spiking.
Follow social distancing and sanitation guidelines
Wear a mask at all times in public
Isolate when possible
Even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms, GET TESTED (and re-tested)!
We want to hear from YOU!
If you are a leader of a community, organization, or workforce of any kind in Fulton, Cobb, DeKalb, or Gwinnett County, let us know how we can bring a mobile testing site to your community.
We make it EASY!
In addition, we will provide communications and marketing materials for your community testing outreach efforts:
You received this newsletter because you are a member of the Greater Atlanta community.
As we expand our efforts throughout Georgia, we rely on the generosity of our supporters to ensure as many state residents, including those in uninsured, undocumented, and underserved communities, as possible have access to testing.
If you would like to support CORE’s COVID-19 relief efforts, please consider making a donation. Any amount you can afford is welcome.
GHC3 is now the Office of Health Equity and Crisis Coordination, a division of the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI). The Center for Global Health Innovation is an Atlanta-based 501(c)3 organization launched in 2019 to bring together diverse Global Health, Health Technology and Life Sciences entities to collaborate, innovate and activate solutions to enhance human health outcomes around the world. At its core, CGHI will orchestrate programs that promote cross discipline cooperation to strengthen capabilities, accelerate problem solving and respond to global health crises. The Center will continue to support its subsidiary organizations, Georgia Bio and Georgia Global Health Alliance and is standing up a permanent Global Health Crisis Coordination Center to bringing to bear the best private sector and public sector capabilities and experience in times of need.