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Health Equity - COVID-19 Resources for Underserved Populations

Some populations are more at risk for coronavirus, or impacts of social distancing. Below are resources and information for people facing additional risk. 

General Resources

ASL Resources 

Resources in Other Languages

Caregivers for someone who is ill

Most people who get sick with coronavirus will have only mild illness and should recover at home. Care at home can help stop the spread of coronavirus and help protect people who are at risk for getting seriously ill. 

If you are caring for someone at home, the most important steps you can do are to prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms, monitor for emergency signs, and work with your healthcare provider to determine when to safely end home isolation.

For more information: 

Older adults and their caregivers

Older adults, especially those with underlying health conditions, are at greatest risk for experiencing severe or fatal health complications if infected with the coronavirus. For that reason, social distancing is critically important to preventing virus spread among older adults. 

Since social distancing can lead to social isolation, it’s important for older adults to stay connected to friends and family by using the telephone, and forms of virtual communication. Younger family members and friends are encouraged to check in regularly with older loved ones. They can also be of service by picking up needed supplies so that our older adults can remain safe during this critical time. 

For more information: 

Young children and their caregivers

We often believe that very young children are unaware of events happening around us. The truth is that infants, toddlers and young children are paying attention to what we say and do, and notice when we have an emotional response. Young children may have misconceptions about events that are happening, such as thinking an event is their fault. As caregivers, it is important that we respond to children in a way that acknowledges their need for safety and security, and provides them with accurate information. 

It is important to keep in mind that children do not always understand what they are feeling, and may struggle to communicate their feelings with you. They often communicate their feelings through behavior. This can be frustrating for caregivers, especially if you are feeling stressed or anxious yourself. Remember to be curious about your child’s behavior, striving to consider what they might be telling you. It is also important to take care of yourself. When you are feeling calm and relaxed, you are better able to take care of their needs. 

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Teens and Young Adults

Being a teen is difficult no matter what, and the coronavirus is making it even harder. Normal routines are very different right now, and anxiety at this time is completely normal. 

While teens and young adults are at lower risk for severe complications of coronavirus, it can be serious. Even if people to not have severe symptoms, they can spread it to others. It is important to stay at home and away from others to prevent the spread of disease to those who are more at risk.

For more information: 

People who are at Risk of Domestic or Sexual Violence

Coronavirus and social distancing can create anxiety and disruption in daily lives. For people experiencing domestic or sexual violence, this can expose additional dangers. Resources are available, and domestic and sexual violence programs across Iowa are working to help people plan for their safety. 

For more information:

People with Disabilities

People with disabilities face extra barriers when practicing social distancing. Many are at higher risk for coronavirus infection, and can’t fully limit social interactions because of care giving and medical needs. 

There are several strategies that will help reduce exposure and risk of illness for people with disabilities. Creating a household plan to reduce exposures to coronavirus can help protect the health of people with disabilities, and those around them. You should also make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies

For more information: 

People who are Homeless

People who are experiencing homelessness are at significant risk of coronavirus transmission. Many homeless service providers are stoping, changing, or limiting services to prevent transmission of coronavirus. Homelessness service providers should clearly communicate these changes and the resources that continue to be available. This should include helping clients develop an emergency plan, and strategies to access care and isolate if experiencing fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Clinicians providing coronavirus care may not have experience working with people experiencing homelessness, and may be unfamiliar with the unique healthcare needs of this population. As a result, they may provide care that does not take into account pre-existing conditions, substance use, mental health, or new needs that have developed as a result of this disaster. 

For more information: 


LGBTQ+ individuals have higher rates of underlying risk factors of severe coronavirus outcomes, including smoking and HIV. Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that is particularly harmful to smokers. Individuals with HIV may have a compromised immune system which in turn puts them at a greater risk of contracting the virus. LGBTQ+ individuals also face greater difficulty accessing healthcare compared to other individuals, and may face stigma when they do. 

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Households with Mixed or Undocumented Status

Undocumented people or households where people with different immigration statuses live are at high risk of exposure to the Coronavirus for various reasons. These people generally live in overcrowded housing (many people share small spaces), are unemployed or have a low-income job, do not have access to health insurance, have limitations in speaking and understanding English, and suffer discrimination.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Pew Research Center, approximately 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States.

Las personas indocumentadas o los hogares donde viven personas con diferentes estatus migratorios tienen un alto riesgo de exposición al Coronavirus debido a varias razones. Generalmente estas personas viven en hacinamiento (muchas personas comparten espacios pequeños), están desempleadas o tienen empleo de bajos ingresos, no tienen acceso a seguro médico, tienen limitaciones para hablar y entender inglés y sufren de discriminación.  

De acuerdo al Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) y el Centro de Investigación Pew, aproximadamente entre 11 y 12 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados viven en los Estados Unidos.

For more information/A continuación, se presenta información que podría ayudarle: