How Lowcountry cities, organizations use COVID-19 data to help those in need

Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 3:07 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry cities, counties and nonprofit organizations are using data to determine how to spread out resources for those affected by COVID-19.

The City of Charleston recently introduced a website called City Health Dashboard, which tracks all types of health-related data for cities around the United States from diabetes to breast cancer and now, COVID-19. It was created by doctors at the medical school at NYU.

The website shows risk levels for certain zipcodes in the City of Charleston. As of the publication of this article, the following zipcodes had the highest risk: 29403, 29405, 29407.

“It should help us moving forward as we’re looking at the different health priorities in our communities to begin to set some priorities by better targeting the resources we have around to us,” Wellness Coordinator for the City of Charleston Paul Wieters said.

Health Program Manager at Trident United Way Joey Current said tools like this can be used for targeted outreach.

“United Way has used this tool and others to target our food access work in light of COVID in our food response, where we’ve partnered with certain cities to do food distribution and outreach,” he added.

Director of Integrated Community Systems for Trident United Way Cathy Easley said they also collect data using their 2-1-1 helpline and information from partner agencies.

“Data plays a really large piece in determining where the needs are and who we need to reach out to,” she said. “We look daily at what people’s needs are and where are those gaps.”

She said what started as a large need for food has turned into a need for rental and utility assistance. Because of this, Trident United Way is hosting a series of webinars for anyone interested. There is a utility assistance webinar on Thursday July 9 from 10-11:30 a.m. that is free for anyone to attend. You can find the information on how to register by clicking: here.

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