BOSTON (CBS) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is working to help minority communities in their battle against the coronavirus. The positive test rate for Black and Hispanic residents is about three times higher than the rest of the state.

“Nine of the ten cities and towns with the highest rates of COVID infection are also communities where more than half the residents identify as people of color,” according to the DPH.

To address this, the DPH’s COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group has recommended:

  • Investing in multilingual outreach to increase access to testing, home and workplace protections, and access to state assistance programs
  • Continuing to gather and spread COVID data across populations and sectors, such as transit usage
  • Increasing equitable distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) for essential workers and residents in professions most at risk
  • Implementing policies that increase housing stability for populations disproportionally impacted by COVID-19
  • Implementing a strategy for active engagement in the most-impacted communities as part of decision-making processes related to COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group is made up of 26 community leaders, health and racial equity experts, and members of communities and populations disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

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