Throughout the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Franklin county has experienced one of the highest confirmed case rates of any county in Washington state.
Community testing is one of the most crucial elements in mitigating the spread of the virus. Individuals testing positive can then be isolated early in the course of their illness when the viral load and viral shedding are relatively high, preventing further transmission. This points to the need for easily-accessible (in terms of physical access, cost and eligibility) and widespread community testing that includes a rapid turnaround time for the production of laboratory test results. Contact-tracing and care coordination for those infected are also other vital steps for slowing the spread of the disease.
Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health (GCACH) was asked by a recently formed consortium, which included state and community partners, to market a COVID-19 community test site being rapidly-developed in Franklin county. Partner to the consortium include the WA Department of Health, University of Washington Medical Labs, Benton-Franklin Health District, the Health Commons Project, City of Pasco and Pasco Fire Department and Columbia Safety. While the National Guard has operated for months now community testing sites in the Tri-Cities region, these operations were never coupled with diverse, widespread advertising to market these operations. This is particularly true of marketing efforts within the Hispanic community. GCACH has gained considerable experience in its marketing operation, gained initially through its successful Community Resilience Campaign and then added to with its Masking Communication Campaign which targeted the Hispanic community.
Greater Columbia reached out to a trusted marketing partner, P.S. Media located in Kennewick, to produce the advertising, and purchase media for a robust campaign in the Benton-Franklin counties region that includes digital, radio, and television media content and distribution to outlets in both English and Spanish. GCACH will also be providing analytical support tied to the reporting side of this operation. The site opened on September 24th and volume continues to rise as more people access testing there. The overall goal is to test as many as 500 individuals through each day of operation.