About the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group
- LaToya Durham at LaToya.Durham@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-9590
- Kirsten Wysen at Kirsten.email@example.com or 206-263-8757
Leaders in our region have long recognized the value of a collective effort across community, public and private sectors when pursuing a shared, complex goal. In the past, such alliances have helped maximize healthcare coverage of King County residents, mobilize around a comprehensive approach to early childhood development, and, most recently, work to ensure all residents are counted in the 2020 census.
In the first week of March 2020, as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) grew exponentially in King County, a new shared goal was clear: slow the spread of the virus. Under the incident command structure for COVID-19 response, Public Health took steps to quickly form a Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group.
Five months later, community representatives and Public Health staff came together to revisit, reframe, and expand the group's purpose, in large part driven by the need to address regional racial inequities more effectively. In addition, to achieve its revised goals, the Advisory Group modified its approach from being led solely led by Public Health to being co-led by community representatives and Public Health. In September 2020, the advisory group modified its name to "Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group" to reflect its expanded intent. The Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group works to identify, inspire, and mobilize bold solutions in response to the urgent, interconnected crises of COVID-19 and systemic racism.
How were members chosen?
Centered in our commitment to racial equity and social justice, Public Health identified and invited leaders from across business, government, faith, labor, education, and non-profit sectors, focusing on those who had trusted engagement with communities at highest risk of serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19. We also engaged organizations with unique platforms to share information. The focus is not on healthcare organizations, who are engaged through other channels in COVID-19 response.
Will the role and members of the Advisory Group change?
- Public Health convened the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group very quickly in order to engage community partners to help reduce the spread of the virus. We are mindful that the role and approach of the Advisory Group may shift as phases of the pandemic's response and recovery evolve.
- While working to keep the group a manageable size, if we find key sectors whose voices were missed in our initial convening, and/or as the role of the group shifts, we may make limited adjustments to the membership.
- Early in the outbreak, the Pandemic and Racism Community Advisory Group partnered with Seattle Foundation to advise on the approach, priorities, and grant recipients for the first phase of funding of the COVID-19 Response Fund. Subsequently, Seattle Foundation formed a separate advisory body to guide future phases. Please visit the COVID-19 Response Fund for more information.
Other COVID-19 involvement opportunities and resources
The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, and new sources of relief, support and information are emerging on a regular basis. Some trusted sources of information and help include:
- For Public Health updates on COVID-19, check and subscribe to www.kingcounty.gov/covid and to www.publichealthinsider.com
- Public Health-Seattle & King County hosts a weekly call on Mondays from 4:00 – 4:45 with COVID-19 updates for community partners. For call in information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- King County Regional Donations Connector – helping to link agencies in need with donations of goods and services.
- King County Department of Community & Human Services COVID-19 resource lists.
- United Way of King County COVID-19 Resource List and volunteering information.
- City of Seattle COVID-19 resource page; the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods hosts weekly webinars every Friday from 2:30 – 4:00 pm.
- Crisis Connections can help connect people in need with available resources.
- Washington State COVID-19 response website has resources for individuals and businesses.
King County COVID-19 Call Centers
- Medical questions related to COVID-19?
Contact the call center between 8 AM to 7 PM PST at 206-477-3977
- Non-medical questions about COVID-19 including compliance and business related issues?
- Contact the King County COVID-19 Business and Community Information Line (Monday - Friday) 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at 206-296-1608, or submit a written inquiry or report online.
- For employee health, contact tracing, or testing questions, please call the COVID-19 call center at 206-477-3977.
- Need isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?
Contact the call center between 8 AM to 10PM PST at 206-477-3977.
- General questions about COVID-19 in Washington State
Contact the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.