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More Than a Mask
A person wearing a face mask.

We need a mask and more. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence has shown that communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the virus, especially African American and Latino communities. To respond to and help address these disparities, the State of Ohio under the advisement of the Minority Health Strike Force worked with the Us4Us Coalition to create the “More Than A Mask” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to provide specific messaging and resources to protect and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within communities of color in Ohio. The campaign utilizes both paid advertising strategies and local grassroots efforts to reach minority community members across the state of Ohio.



COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint

The Minority Health Strike Force, although initially established to address COVID-19, quickly gained consensus on the need to include recommended changes for underlying and foundational racial disparities. The “COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint” report recognizes that some of our population has been left behind. The report recognizes the lasting effects of racism and what that means to all of us. It provides a path forward to improve the health and well-being of all Ohioans and recommends changes to the health, social, and physical environment that must be considered to achieve progress.


Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity

The Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity is a set of commitments to continue Ohio’s course of change so that all Ohioans – regardless of race, background, gender, or religion — have the opportunity to live up to their full potential. This report provides the compelling insight and recommendations needed to inform our policy decisions and activate change. Together, we will achieve an Ohio where disparities are quelled and equity is our norm.


COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force: Interim Report

One of the first charges of the strike force was to create an interim report. The interim report includes recommendations from four subcommittees and focuses on immediate action items to address COVID-19 and its impact on people of color. The strike force is comprised of four subcommittees: data and research; education and outreach; healthcare and resources. The strike force will issue another report early this summer that outlines longer term strategies.


Get Tested for COVID-19

In May the Governor’s COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force issued an interim report that detailed the importance of testing access in communities of color and other high-risk areas.  As a response, the Strike Force announced a walk-up/drive-up testing initiative with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers and their affiliate members (Community Health Centers) and the Ohio National Guard. These sites will also include other local community-based organizations i.e., faith-based organizations, community centers, food pantries, etc.  Testing for this initiative will be available for individuals with or without symptoms. The test has no out-of-pocket cost to the patient and individuals of any age are able to access the test. Minors will need signed consent of a parent/guardian.


COVID-19 Myths Versus Facts