IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED
CDC has updated its guidance for people who are fully vaccinated. See Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR SCHOOLS
CDC recommends schools continue to use the current COVID-19 prevention strategies for the 2020-2021 school year. Learn more
Important update: Healthcare facilities
CDC has updated select ways to operate healthcare systems effectively in response to COVID-19 vaccination. Learn more

Resources for Community Health Workers, Community Health Representatives, and Promotores de la Salud

Resources for Community Health Workers, Community Health Representatives, and Promotores de la Salud
Updated Dec. 14, 2020
healthcare-worker

Community health workers (CHWs)—also known as community health representatives and promotores de la salud—provide critical services to communities disproportionately impacted by public health threats including COVID-19. This site provides CHWs with resources to support their work, as well as information for their employers to better ensure the safety of CHWs in the community. State and local health departments also may find these resources beneficial to share with local programs and funding recipients. Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal agencies, and external organizations are included to ensure CHWs and their employers have easy access to essential information in one location.

As a critical worker, you are closely interacting with the members of the communities you serve. You can better protect yourself and your clients if you

  • know how to provide services safely during home visits to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
  • are ready to provide support to a client who is sick with COVID-19; and
  • can help prevent spread by being aware of steps to take when someone is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Personal Protection

Whenever you are conducting home visits or other community outreach, be sure you are aware of the available resources to help prevent yourself from getting sick.

Resources from CDC
Handwashing
Protect Yourself When Using Transportation
Social Distancing
Use of Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

If Someone Is Sick

Providing support to your clients with COVID-19 is crucial for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Share and discuss these resources with your clients and their families when there has been a COVID-19 infection in the household. These resources are also available if you or someone within your family is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19. Know how to protect people with increased risk factors, who may need extra precautions, as well.

Resources from CDC
Caring for Someone Sick at Home
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home
When to Quarantine
When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19

Adapting Practices for COVID-19

As a community health worker, you are vital to your community. Adapting how you serve clients during the COVID-19 pandemic will protect you and those around you. You may want to talk to your employer about the availability of telehealth or video teleconferencing tools or review tips for adapting home visits to ensure that protective measures are put in place. Helping your clients connect to telehealth resources for other health care services is another great way you can support them.

Stress and Coping

Balancing work, family, and other responsibilities is already a challenge. You can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself first. With the addition of the current COVID-19 public health crisis, the stress and anxiety can be overwhelming. Taking time for self-care, stress prevention, and healthy coping strategies is critical for you to do your job effectively and safely.

Training and Support

Having access to the most up-to-date training is essential for the health of your community members. Lack of knowledge and skills related to COVID-19 can endanger you and those you serve, and it can also put your organization at risk. Understand your role during this public health emergency.

Resources from CDC
Community and Faith-Based Organizations
Community Health Worker Resources
Engaging Community Health Workers to Support Home-based Care for People with COVID-19 in Global Low-Resource Settings

Private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia
CHW Training and Professional Developmentexternal icon – Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers
Community Health Workers (CHWs) and the Coronavirusexternal icon – National Association of Community Health Workers (NACHW)
Community Health Workers: Social First Responders in the COVID Pandemicexternal icon – Penn Center for Community Health Workers
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Trainingexternal icon (includes contact tracing) ­– Public Health Foundation (TRAIN)

Communication Tools

Educating your clients about the coronavirus is essential to combat COVID-19. Sharing resources that help your clients understand the coronavirus and how it spreads empowers them to take precautions, helps them know where to find information about support services, and what to do if they are sick. Consider having the resources below on-hand when meeting with your clients or send the links via email or text if engaging virtually.

Resources from CDC
Toolkit for Community and Faith-Based Organizations
Communications Toolkit for Migrants, Refugees, and Other Limited-English-Proficient Populations

Other federal and state agencies
Coronavirus.govexternal iconCOVID-19 Communication Toolsexternal icon – Texas Department of Health
Communication Resourcesexternal icon – Colorado Department of Health

Private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia
COVID-19 Communication Networkexternal icon – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
COVID-19 Community Health Worker Communication Resourcesexternal icon – Visión y Compromiso

Information for Employers

As an employer of community health workers (CHWs), you play an integral role in keeping your CHW workforce and the clients they serve safe, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. By incorporating preventive measures, you can better ensure the health and safety of CHWs as they perform essential services in communities. You can also more effectively protect your organization from liability and risk. Begin by recognizing that your business has its own needs and priorities when it comes to adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic and that there are resources to support you. You may first need to find information on how to safely reopen your business, either in-person or by adapting it for virtual operations. Then, you may benefit from understanding  the roles of CHWs during COVID-19 by watching CDC’s recent webinar recordingand finally you can review steps on how to protect your workforce and how to monitor and adapt your policies as new information and data become available.