This report, based on information gathered through mid-May 2021, summarizes the yearlong path that nine communities—Finney County, Kan.; Harris County, Texas; Milwaukee, Wis.; Mobile, Ala.; San Juan County, N.M.; Sanilac County, Mich.; Tacoma, Wash.; Tampa, Fla.; and White Plains, N.Y.—traveled with respect to COVID-19 vaccination, health and well-being, economic recovery, equitable housing, and in-person schooling. It also notes the gaps that must still be addressed to achieve truly equitable community recovery.
Overall, communities leveraged what they had pre-pandemic and created new collaborations and approaches where necessary to address community needs. In addition to direct COVID-19 response, needs included food insecurity, economic support, housing stability, and school reopening. Some communities, such as Tacoma, Harris County, and Milwaukee, built on pre-pandemic commitments to equity to identify communities or neighborhoods of focus, in order to target outreach and resources, while in other communities, such as Mobile and Finney County, the lack of attention to equity has created tensions for communities of color in the face of weaker government response. It is unclear if these communities will take the time to revisit their considerations of equity in community health plans, as there was limited evidence to date of significant focus.