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County officials announced the formation of a team that is going door-to-door in areas hit hardest by Covid-19 to inform them on safety practices and other resources.

The Community Health & Business Engagement Team began canvassing in September and members have visited more than 3,300 businesses and spoken with nearly 1,400 workers, according to county officials.

Created through a proposal introduced by Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, the CHBET program aims to contain the spread of Covid-19, especially in the hardest-hit communities of East San José and South County, by doing outreach in those communities using the services of community organizations and local residents.

“We’re going out there and having real conversations with folks, especially in hard-hit areas such as East San José and Gilroy,” Chavez said. “It’s a boots-on-the-ground effort. This kind of personal engagement really helps get accurate information out to the community, and we find that most businesses are willing and eager partners.”

The county has contracted with local community groups to assist with the outreach, including Working Partnerships USA, Si Se Puede Collective, Community Health Partnership, and Roots Community Health Center, who coordinates with Ujima Adult and Family Services, the African-American Community Service Agency and Unity Care.

The team consists of about two dozen members, including bilingual workers. Languages spoken include English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Mandarin.

The CHBET program requires a financial investment of more than $1 million by the county.

“My administration is proud to make this critical investment in the communities hit the hardest by COVID-19, including the Latinx community,” said County Executive Dr. Jeff Smith.

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