NOTE TO MEDIA:
Members of the media are
invited to join outreach volunteers at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the MacGruder
Park Recreation Center in Hyattsville City Park, 3911 Hamilton Street, Hyattsville, Md. to
take photos and b-roll before the sound truck
launch at 10 a.m. Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, Commander of the Army
National Guard and lead of the state’s Vaccine Equity Task Force, Delegate
Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who represents District 21, and Dr. Mark Martin, Deputy
Director of the MDH Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, will be
available for interviews and to answer questions about outreach efforts in the
February 19, 2021
Deidre McCabe, Director, Office of
Charles Gischlar, Deputy Director, Office
of Communications, 410-767-6491
Baltimore, MD – The
Maryland Department of Health (MDH) will launch an outreach effort providing
information about COVID-19 prevention and vaccination availability to pre-selected
neighborhoods in Prince George’s County starting Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10 a.m.
the initial launch of the mobile public health education unit – or sound truck
– on Saturday in ZIP code 20783, the truck will continue to circulate
through specific neighborhoods for six additional days from Feb. 21 to 26, traveling
designated routes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Direct outreach to targeted neighborhoods
through the use of the sound truck is part of the grassroots strategy of the
statewide GoVAX campaign, announced by Governor Larry Hogan on January
“The pandemic has presented challenges
for all Marylanders and disproportionately impacted some of the state’s
minority communities,” said Acting MDH Secretary Dennis Schrader. “The GoVAX
campaign is designed to bring information and resources to areas hardest hit
and help Marylanders make informed choices about getting vaccinated.”
outfitted with COVID-19 informational banners, will broadcast prevention and
vaccination messages from its public-address system in Spanish and English.
Volunteers will distribute informational flyers in Spanish and English and provide
free face masks at designated stops along the route.
on the safety and efficacy of COVID
vaccines, the importance of getting vaccinated when eligible, getting tested if
exposed to COVID or experiencing symptoms, isolating when sick, continuing to
maintain social distance, properly wearing face coverings and how to locate available
resources for families impacted by the pandemic.
“This ZIP code
has one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state,” said Delegate
Joseline Peña-Melnyk, who represents District 21, spanning parts of Prince
George’s and Anne Arundel counties. “Who lives in 20783? Immigrants. Latinos.
It’s the towns of Hyattsville, Langley Park, Adelphi and Chillum. I am
passionate about being a GoVAX Ambassador because it is no surprise to me that
black and brown people are being affected the most by COVID-19.”
“MDH first used the sound truck in
Baltimore’s 21224 ZIP Code to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 and improve
outcomes,” said Mark Martin, Deputy Director of MDH’s Office of Minority Health
and Health Disparities. “The sound truck is one of many outreach activities we
will be using as part of the GoVAX campaign to bring information and
resources to underserved communities and vulnerable populations across the
To learn more about the effects of COVID-19 on minority
communities, please click here. Additional COVID-19 information
and resources are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
The Maryland Department of Health is dedicated to protecting and
improving the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease prevention,
access to care, quality management and community engagement. Follow us on Twitter @MDHealthDept and at Facebook.com/MDHealthDept.
201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464