HOUSTON — Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Health Department today launched Better. Together., a multilingual public health education campaign empowering Houstonians with the knowledge and skills to protect their families and communities from COVID-19.
Mayor Turner also proclaimed August 2020 Better. Together. Month, encouraging Houstonians to work toward the goal of reducing city’s COVID-19 positivity rate, currently at 23 percent, to 5 percent or lower.
“Thousands of our family and friends have been sickened and hundreds of Houstonians have died because of the virus,” said Mayor Turner. “Better. Together. means it will take Houstonians working together for our city to get better. It also reminds us the proven behaviors of wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands and getting tested work better together to slow the spread.”
In addition to television, radio, print and digital advertisements, Better. Together. includes direct outreach into the city’s most vulnerable communities through neighborhood canvassing, signage in public places, toolkits for businesses and organizations, and virtual education sessions.
“In order to bring our positivity rate down, we must continue to go directly into communities,” said Dr. Faith Foreman-Hays, chief of the health department’s Office of Chronic Disease, Health Education and Wellness. “This means we must educate people in their homes, schools, parks, businesses, houses of worship, restaurants and other places.”
As of July 30, there are 45,415 cases of COVID-19 and 432 associated deaths in Houston. The city’s Hispanic community is affected disproportionally and accounts for approximately 40 percent of cases and 45 percent of deaths.
Earlier this month, the health department launched Todos Juntos. Mejor, the Spanish-language segment of Better. Together., educating Hispanics about preventing the spread of the virus and sharing valuable information for families needing food, housing and mental health assistance.
The health department also saturated high-positivity communities with more than 71,000 flyers, 401,000 robocalls and 71,000 text messages in English and Spanish and engaged community stakeholders, including faith-based groups, to amplify the message.
Houstonians should visit HoustonHealth.org for information about free testing sites and protecting their families and communities from this deadly virus. The site provides information in many languages, including a Spanish section.