Illinois launches Pandemic Health Navigator program to expand COVID resources

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– Illinois is launching a new program to provide expand COVID-19 resources and vaccine availability across the state. The program is called the Pandemic Health Navigator.

It is already in operation in several communities and integrates community health centers, community-based organizations, and public health partners to coordinate available resources for areas that have been most impacted by the pandemic.

“When someone tests positive for COVID-19, or comes in contact with someone else who has, Pandemic Health Navigators are there, ready to assist with social service supports, personal care education, vaccine access, and even critical logistics like ensuring access to groceries and food when a person has to isolate,” explained Gov. JB Pritzker in a press release.

The Illinois Department of Public Health granted $60 million in funding to regional coordinators to ensure resources are available for resident in need.

Two Illinois health agencies conducted a survey of more than 800 residents to better understand the views and needs of Illinoisians. The survey results showed that Illinois residents are in need of guidance and underscored the importance of sharing accurate information and dispelling common misconceptions.  The survey revealed the following data: 

  • 1 in 5 residents indicated they were not able or unsure of their ability to tell the difference between scientific facts and misinformation or false claims on the Internet.  
  • 21-percent of residents said they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • More than half (57%) of respondents stated they would be open to working with a Community Health Worker.  

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