This may include faith and ethnic group leaders, community leaders, business leaders, leaders within vulnerable populations, teachers, or public officials, among others.
Jurisdictions should engage community leaders by:
Establishing a mechanism for feedback to refine messaging and tactics
Sharing communication plans and approaches
Sharing official fact sheets and other communication tools
Encouraging them to participate in press briefings
Encouraging and supporting them to share official public health notifications, recommendations and other messages with their communities. Community leaders can use existing communication channels (such as social media and email newsletters); new channels can be established as appropriate
1.c Communicate widely via public information campaigns, using mass media, web sites and digital media to explain contact tracing and its impact.
Engage journalists and consider journalist trainings to ensure journalists understand the program and are reporting factual and timely information.
1.d Understand risk communication principles and apply them.
Express empathy often. COVID-19 is scary, and spokespeople should acknowledge that. People may find it invasive to consider sharing information about who they’ve been in contact with. Be sure to empathize with the public about the downsides of contact tracing, while reminding people of the benefits to their family, neighbors, friends and communities.
Communication that expresses empathy, is credible, provides anticipatory guidance, promotes action, and shows respect will help build trust.
1.e Respect confidentiality.
Communication on every level needs to address and allay public concerns about privacy and confidentiality.
Follow CDC or local health department guidance if symptoms develop
3. Communication coordination
Establish a centralized mechanism to manage communication.
Depending on the size of the jurisdiction and communication needs, a small team may be needed to support the various activities and coordinate with external stakeholders (e.g., community leaders, media outlets).
The centralized mechanism should be linked with health department staff responsible for monitoring and analyzing the epidemic science and situation. This will ensure communications are accurate and up-to-date.
4. Policymaker advocacy
Develop a plan and materials for advocating for the necessary resources for a contact tracing program.
Prepare materials that make the case, and advocate for funding with policymakers to support contact tracing activities.