The Chicago COVID-19 Community Response (CCCR) team of The Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) is one of thirty community-based organizations that began at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. A united front with Chicago was created and named the Cook Workplace Partnerships, which includes the Chicago Department of Public Health. This united front came as a response to the increased spread of infection, growing misinformation/conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine, and to support minority communities against years of medical mistrust. And while the CCCR Program has its central office in Humboldt Park, the team has often traveled to provide their services throughout Chicago.
The PRCC’s community response team continues to engage in key canvassing efforts that foster much-needed discussion around COVID-19. Additionally, the team offered Antigen Rapid Testing in targeted locations around the city. These outreach efforts have played a crucial role because they allow the team to interact directly with people in Chicago’s underserved communities. Altogether, the response has been effective in its promotion of community health, spreading fact-based information regarding COVID-19, and addressing widespread misinformation.
Even if the Centers for Disease Control lowered the COVID-19 restrictions across the country, it is now more important than ever that we continue the fight against COVID-19 here in Chicago. Another spike may be on the horizon and the CCCR team continues its campaign to combat this possibility. The most recent efforts have proven themselves fruitful, including, but not limited to, CCCR staff assigned to the various Chicago City College Vaccine Pods and the successful distribution of a major survey about reactions to COVID 19 conducted by UIC. These have been major successes in Chicago’s progression towards herd immunity and a better understanding of the opinions and concerns of the Chicago residents that call this city their home.
And as we continue through 2022, a new initiative begins to assist parents in vaccine decisions for their children. The Chicago COVID-19 Community Response team will be offering virtual discussions with parents from select schools to address any concerns and answer questions regarding the vaccines, their effectiveness, and safety in youths. The CCCR team has been given the opportunity to engage with the school-age population as a result of positive Antigen Rapid Testing results in our schools. The CCCR team is hopeful this will be another major success in the battle against COVID-19 and hopefully another nail in the coffin of the pandemic.