COVID-19 Response: Co-Developing Culturally Relevant Messages for Farmworkers

The goal of this rapid response project was to co-develop accurate and approachable public service announcements, radio spots, social media messages, and infographics about COVID-19 for agricultural employees. Fifty surveys about trusted information sources were administered in conjunction with the COVID-19 Farmworker Study (COFS), which asked about the impact of the pandemic on work experience, transportation, housing, and healthcare access. It brought in researchers from the UW Department of Communications (Dr. Carmen Gonzalez) and UW Department of Health Services (Dr. Gino Aisenberg) and PNASHers including Edward Kasner, Maria Blancas, Idanis Cruz, and Elizabeth Torres.

Alongside the efforts of community health workers, local health districts, and other stakeholders, this project broadened the reach of COVID-19 information in agricultural communities. Dissemination partners included several community-based organizations, Yakima Health District, Washington State Departments of Labor & Industries and Health (L&I and DOH), the Mexican Consulate, and CDC-funded Centers for Agricultural Safety and Health. Topics included masks, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, and proper glove use. The team developed 25 resources, and printed and disseminated over 1,500 fliers throughout the Yakima Valley in collaboration with El Proyecto Bienestar.  A majority of survey respondents sought answers to pandemic questions from internet searches, clinics, and TV/radio programs. Facebook, Google, YouTube, and WhatsApp were the most popular platforms. Among those who responded, about 65% made changes to their behavior as a result of information from a trusted source.

Principal Investigator: Edward Kasner, MPH, PhD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington
Outreach Director, PNASH Center

UW Population Health Initiative 2018-2019

Partners and Advisories:
UW Department of Communications
UW Department of Health Services
Washington State Department of Health
Yakima Health District

Resources:
PNASH COVID-19 Resources page