First documented COVID-19 case in Washtenaw County

On March 13th, the first individual tested positive for COVID-19 in Washtenaw County. The WHI would quickly pivot to support community organizations and residents alike during the pandemic.

Early efforts included assembling directories for community members dealing with the health, economic, and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; a two-page overview of key American Rescue Plan benefits and how to access them; inviting the health department to speak with stakeholders about vaccine outreach initiatives; advertising new, less expensive health care coverage options available during the pandemic; promoting the Futures for Frontliners scholarship program for essential workers; communicating about the county’s digital divide; surveying electoral candidates on their health, mental health, and social platforms; and more.

CHRT, backbone to the WHI, provided rapid response support to legislators and decision leaders exploring best practices in health policy during the pandemic. A series of papers emerged from this work, including one that CHRT staff developed with Poverty Solutions on: Providing safe, temporary shelter to homeless populations during the COVID-19 pandemic