Ensuring an Equitable and Effective Long-Term COVID-19 Response in Harris County
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris County has managed over 381,000 cases and nearly 6,000 deaths. Under the direction of the County Judge’s Office, Harris County Public Health (HCPH) and other partners have worked tirelessly to slow the spread of infection and combat health inequities through free and accurate testing, case investigations, contact tracing, educational campaigns, vaccine administration, as well as additional case management and referral services related to food, transportation, housing, and more. Unfortunately, Texas currently ranks 36 of the 50 states for residents who are fully vaccinated, with severe winter storms, rural populations, and hard-to-reach low-income communities factoring into the lag in inoculations. As a result, Harris County remains at its highest COVID-19 threat level. Despite these challenges, the County in partnership with the City of Houston, administering up to 42,000 vaccines a week, prioritizing equity in distribution and outreach.
Now, the County is looking to sustain and enhance its COVID-19 response operations over the long term to reach herd immunity and commence reopening. It will partner with FUSE to implement a dynamic strategy to improve its pandemic response efforts, including advancing personal preventive measures and implementing effective vaccine distribution and community outreach strategies, including raising awareness of COVID-19 initiatives in critical communities. A FUSE Executive Fellow will liaise with different departments, coordinating technical operations and community outreach and utilizing data to drive decision-making and policy.