Paterson City is applying to this grant program as an urban area of focus. Paterson City is the seat of Passaic County, and accounts for the disproportional rates related to the County?s overall COVID statistics. As of April 16, 2021, Passaic County has the second-highest total number of new cases per day (53.2 cases per day per 100,000 residents) and fourth-highest positivity rate at 11.4%. As of this date, the County?s cumulative total number of cases equal 68,894 and deaths equal 1,830. Currently, Paterson is seeing a third wave: between April 11 and April 17, 2021 Paterson saw 106 new positive COVID-19 cases per day, on average. The goal of this project will be to create and implement a citywide initiative to improve health literacy as to enhance equitable community response to COVID-19. The City will act as the lead applicant and oversee all grant funding, as it has the experience and expertise to do so efficiently. While the main focus will be Paterson?s high-need resident population, the project will extend to health literacy interventions in the immediate area, including most of Passaic County and the City?s contracting jurisdiction for communicable disease support. Paterson City plans to embark on two methods that closely align with relevant Healthy People 2030 standards: (1) taking a Targeted Approach that tailors communication to each facet of the target population, rather than treating all vulnerable residents with one singular approach; and (2) taking a Universal Precaution Approach that assumes each person may have difficulty understanding health information and accessing services. Objectives will be to: (1) engage and build a citywide, diverse network of trusted community-based partners and leaders to disseminate information; (2) research and implement evidence-based practices to improve health literacy by increasing access to accurate and actionable COVID-19 health information for people of all educational backgrounds, literacy l
evels, and languages/cultures; and (3) to address misinformation and disinformation by using culturally and linguistically appropriate mediums and mobilizing positive prevention/vaccination information to the mainstream.The City will plan to lead a team consisting of the following members: City of Paterson Health Officer, City of Paterson Mayoral Administration, Hispanos Unidos (local Hispanic/Latinx outreach professional service), the Health Coalition of Passaic County (HCPC) which partners with 50+ local health departments and health providers/stakeholders interested in tackling the social determinants of health as experienced in Passaic County, the Paterson Alliance which oversees 70+ local nonprofit groups each with expertise in how to reach different/varying difficult-to-reach and vulnerable populations of the City, and finally Passaic County Community College (PCCC) which is the City?s most local and reliable Minority-Serving Institution (MSI). PCCC will be supported by RDE Systems, a leading local software development company that has expert-level experience tracking Paterson?s Ryan White grants for the past decade. Together, PCCC and RDE Systems will comprise the City?s Quality Improvement and Evaluation team.