Practices that show evidence of effectiveness in improving public health outcomes in a specific real-life setting, as indicated by achievement of aims consistent with the objectives of the activities, and are suitable for adaptation by other communities.

Local Government Approaches to Combating COVID-19 Inequities: A Durham County Department of Public Health Perspective

Burwell-Naney, K., Mortiboy, M., Zitta, J., Stevens, E., Patterson, K., Salter, C. J., Easterling, M., Bock, L. B., Wood, H., Rayner, M., Jenkins, R.

Release Date:

Peer Review Study

Contact Tracing
Data Collection and Analysis
Organizational Change/ Development
Outreach/ Education/ Communications
Economic Stability
Healthcare Access and Quality
Social and Community Context
Tools Included
Outside U.S.

Infrastructure Support

The article presents strategies of how Durham County Department of Public Health operationalized equity into multiple phases of its COVID-19 response through infrastructure changes and how to apply these methods to future public health emergencies to better serve vulnerable populations. This response relied upon robust data collection of demographic data to identify inequities. Infrastructure changes included standing up multiple COVID-19 Task Forces (Homeless, Community, Food Security, African American) and Strike Teams (Long-Term Care Facility, Clusters) targeting vulnerable populations; placing testing sites in targeted locations; collaborating with multisector and community partners for feedback; and providing Health Ambassadors for in-person dissemination of COVID-19 information. The paper reviews results from these interventions and lessons learned.

Resource Details

Outcomes of Interest

Capacity Building, Improve Data Infrastructure, Improve Organizational Infrastructure, Partnership Building, Reduction of Health Disparities

Priority Population(s)

American Indian, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx, People Experiencing Homelessness

Setting(s) of Implementation

Community, Workplace

Geographic Area of Implementation


Implementation Period