Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten speaks at a San Diego County news conference on the coronavirus in 2020. (Zoë Meyers/inewsource)

A national public health group is honoring San Diego County for its response to the coronavirus pandemic, officials announced Thursday.

The National Association of County and City Health Officials gave the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency one gold award, one silver award, two bronze awards and an honorable mention.

The gold award recognized the health agency’s outreach to more than 400 health care providers to give them the timely information they needed to connect patients with vaccinations, testing, education resources and COVID-19 treatment.

This effort contributed to reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities in how COVID-19 affected various communities, officials said. Across the country, people of color and low-income communities were hit hardest by the virus.

San Diego County was also praised for developing teams of experts who communicated specific information about COVID-19 to businesses, faith organizations, schools, the military, service providers for homeless people and others.

The county received additional recognition for hygiene kit distribution; cross-border communication and collaboration; sharing of data and equipment with agencies in Mexico, and efforts to communicate about COVID-19 directly with communities of color.

In that effort, officials used traditional advertising and promotion, home visits, phone calls and social media.

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