COVID-19 and Communities

This document includes key Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) considerations during shifting lockdown measures, safety measures for conducting in-person community meetings, and a template that brings both of these considerations together to help agencies adapt their RCCE approaches as these measures shift.

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging health systems across the world. Rapidly increasing demand for care of people with COVID-19 is compounded by fear, misinformation and limitations on the movement of people and supplies that disrupt the delivery of frontline health care for all people. When health systems are overwhelmed and people fail to access needed services, both direct mortality and indirect mortality from preventable and treatable conditions increase (1-3). Decision-makers will need to make difficult choices to ensure that COVID-19 and other urgent, ongoing public health problems are addressed while minimizing risks to health workers and communities.

This guidance note provides clear recommendations to national societies on how volunteers can carry out face-to-face social mobilization safely, how to advocate for continued access to communities with governments in the face of movement restrictions and options for remote risk communication and community engagement (RCCE), when face to face access is no longer an option.