2020 Newsmaker of the Year: London leads health department’s community response

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Adam London Courtesy Kent County Health Department

CATEGORY: Health Care

WINNER: Adam London

ORGANIZATION: Kent County Health Department

Adam London had to steer Kent County through rough waters as COVID-19 became a local crisis, but the director of the Kent County Health Department ensured a quick response to the pandemic.

KCHD launched a web-based application for residents to help the county identify COVID-19 risks in April. The app comes with an anonymous survey that will provide health officials with valuable data that could potentially identify future “hot spots” in Kent County.

“Our ability to respond to this pandemic depends upon timely, accurate and multisourced data,” London said. “The information gathered through this survey will provide us with an additional layer of data to make strategic decisions on how we use our resources.”

In June, KCHD partnered with the Black Impact Collaborative and LINC UP to provide a free COVID-19 community testing day, particularly for the Latinx and African American communities.

“Our data is showing that 17% of our COVID-19 positive cases are located in the 49507 ZIP code and yet only 6% of Kent County’s population resides in this area,” London said at the time. “This type of data continues to inform our response to COVID-19 and ensures our resources are accessible to the most impacted neighborhoods.”

Kent County is not in the clear though with more than 650 new cases per day as of November and positivity rates holding well above 15% — the highest local rates since the onset of the pandemic.

London urged decisive, communitywide action to protect the health of residents and to alleviate the pressure on hospitals. The health department also worked with area hospitals to present a united front and share information and best practices regarding the pandemic, giving the community a clearer picture of what was a stake.

Click here to read about the other winners of the 2020 Newsmakers of the Year.

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