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Report shares COVID-19 experiences, needs of cultural and ethnic minority communities

A new report is now available on the experiences and needs of Ramsey County’s cultural and ethnic minority communities around COVID-19.

The report draws on input and knowledge shared by community members through a series of 49 conversations held from November 2020 to February 2021 that were sponsored by Ramsey County’s COVID-19 Racial Equity and Community Engagement Response Team (RECERT). Conversations were conducted by 15 community partners and focused on perceptions of COVID-19 along with what is needed to slow the spread of the virus. More than 1,500 residents attended a conversation.

In general, participants viewed COVID-19 as a huge issue in their community from both a health and economic standpoint. While most participants shared that they’re actively following public health precautions personally, they have concerns that many in their community are not seriously following guidelines and may not have accurate information about the virus.

Some factors community members shared that prevent people from taking protective steps against COVID-19 include:

  • Misinformation and/or barriers to accurate health information, including language barriers.
  • Stigma around testing positive.
  • Distrust in healthcare systems.
  • Barriers accessing personal protective equipment – like masks and face coverings – as well as sanitation supplies.
  • Barriers to testing, quarantine and vaccination.

Participants also shared knowledge on how the pandemic has negatively impacted their communities economically, socially and emotionally. The pandemic has compounded preexisting poverty, systemic racism and historical trauma while increasing unemployment, housing instability and food insecurity. Community members have also experienced negative impacts on education, mental health and access to social and cultural traditions.

Three key recommendations for the county’s COVID-19 response were identified through the report:

  • Take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in cultural and ethnic minority communities.
  • Continue to support communities to mitigate the pandemic’s impact.
  • Build relationships and trust with communities; recognize and repair past harm.

View the report


Posted on Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 9:51 p.m.