Salt Lake County Mayor creates new team to focused on underserved communities during pandemic

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson creates new “Equity for Diverse and Underserved Communities” team as part of the county’s response to COVID-19.

A press release issued by Mayor Wilson’s office stated data now suggests that Hispanic populations
are being hardest hit by COVID-19 in Salt Lake County, creating an urgency for a strong
infusion of resources.

“I acknowledge there are gaps in serving the needs of populations experiencing inequities which is also causing disparities, and it is one of my top priorities to ensure we can work to close those gaps,” said Mayor Wilson. “The ability to staff up information and services during this crisis will allow us to develop more sophisticated systems and work practices to support these populations not only during this crisis, but for years to come.”

The release states teams from the county will assist individuals with access to health resources, including testing; and will double down on efforts to assist ethnic-owned business owners in accessing economic stimulus and recovery resources.

“Our community is strengthened by diversity and we need to step up our services to those who have historically lacked equitable access and opportunity,” Mayor Wilson said.

Initial staffing for the team includes the additions of three new temporary diverse-community
focused positions, a community liaison, a community communications specialist, and a
community business liaison.

The county said these new positions will work alongside and enhance the continued efforts by Salt Lake County’s Office for New Americans and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, to engage directly with diverse community leaders regarding COVID-19 needs.

The team also includes bolstered partnerships with Salt Lake City and the State, who
have long worked with diverse, immigrant, and refugee populations.

“Our focus is to serve all historically under-resourced populations in unique ways,” Mayor Wilson said. “Our partnerships will be a big step forward both today while specifically addressing COVID-19 and in the future as we work together to lift all communities.”

Based on feedback from diverse community leaders, for COVID-19 response the Equity for
Diverse and Underserved Populations team will primarily focus on:

• Language barriers and equitable access to health and economic information
• Equitable and inclusive testing access, including transportation to testing sites
• Support of ethnic-owned small business owners accessing stimulus and recovery funds
• Food security for diverse, immigrant, and refugee families and individuals

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