NYCOVIDCONNECT Public Resource Guide
The Problem: Information is often tough to obtain for many as they do not know where to turn beyond mass media or social media. It is difficult to find a single resource with up-to-date information about clinical manifestations of the virus, testing information, and health resources as well as helpful tips for addressing the non-medical impacts of the virus, such as instructions on filing for unemployment and identifying support for tenants who may be struggling to pay rent.
Our Approach: We followed the guidance of other medical schools in creating a comprehensive information guide that covers all testing information and other information with updated guidelines and policies. While we first created this guide as a Google document, we then adapted it to a website for an improved user experience. We identified a team of medical students responsible for updating the content, with each student claiming one section (e.g. Testing Centers, Housing, Employment). Each student updated their section once per week so that we had one updated section per day. This kept our document up to date while keeping the workload manageable for volunteers. In order to mitigate our liability for any shared health information, we asked a lawyer to review all information prior to dissemination. In addition to collating the resources themselves, it is important to assess which languages are prevalent in your community to identify needed translations from English. We found multilingual students and members of the community who offered their time to translate the document and its subsequent updates. We kept a running list of these translators to be sure to thank them for their valued time and assistance.
To broaden the document’s reach, we identified a team dedicated to dissemination of the information site. Dissemination was easiest on social media, and we started by identifying key community “stakeholders” with large followings. We eventually created a dedicated Instagram account that would release updates to the COVID guide and hold a regular Q&A session via Instagram stories, answered by a dedicated medical student using links to official resources and peer-reviewed literature.
Students Participating: All medical school classes, other health professions students, PhD students