TestUpMKE campaign promotes COVID-19 testing information with an eye on health equity

September 24, 2020

A new campaign to promote COVID-19 testing access and information launched Saturday, September 19, 2020 with the debut of TestUpMKE.com. The website and ongoing campaign will provide the latest information about where, why and when to get COVID-19 tests in Milwaukee County, as well as important resources for communities of color and those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, such as essential workers and immigrants. The website features COVID-19 testing information in five languages.

“We’ve had a diverse team of communications experts and community influencers helping shape the goals of the TestUp outreach plan,” Alison True, communications director, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers and TestUpMKE committee chairperson, said. “Not only is the website available in Spanish, Hmong, Arabic and Burmese, it also has an accessibility feature for those with hearing, visual and other special needs.”

The TestUpMKE campaign will include a variety of grass-roots communications and social media to help address confusion and misinformation about types of COVID-19 tests, eligibility for testing, the importance of contact tracing, and the role of testing in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. With a COVID-19 testing location map, catalogue of frequently asked questions and downloadable educational materials, TestUpMKE serves as the ‘go-to’ source for the most up-to-date testing information in the Milwaukee community.

Should testing locations in Milwaukee County change, or should the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Wisconsin Department of Health Services alter COVID-19 testing guidance, TestUpMKE will be able to get timely updates to the community through print, radio, social media and other outreach strategies.

“TestUpMKE will be an important resource for our community in the weeks and months ahead,” Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. “As COVID-19 testing resources and science evolve, this project will help make sure that accurate information is available to those who need it most. TestUp’s focus on health equity was not an afterthought – it was the first thought for COVID-19 testing outreach and communication.”

With diversity and equity as a priority in this campaign, INPOWER, a Milwaukee- based, minority-women- owned marketing firm, was identified as a project collaborator. This agency comes with a particular expertise in health care related messaging to urban and multicultural audiences.

The project seeks to align other campaigns that are advancing health equity, such as MaskUpMKE, You Matter and the Creative Health Collective. Carrying the values of diversity, equity, and self-empowerment, the TestUpMKE campaign and website offers a refreshed perspective on how COVID-19 testing information is delivered.

Visit TestUpMKE.com to learn more about the mission for a healthier Milwaukee.

About TestUpMKE

TestUpMKE, under the auspices of the Milwaukee COVID-19 Testing Initiative (CTI), is a public/private effort to provide the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing information in Milwaukee County, and to help amplify public health messages about disease prevention, contact tracing and pathways to health care – especially for those communities most impacted by the disease. Its members include local health systems, community health centers and city, county and state public health agencies. The TestUpMKE campaign’s goals are to grow and sustain COVID-19 diagnostic testing rates in Milwaukee County among those populations with greatest risk and disease burden, and to strengthen connections to health care for individuals in medically underserved neighborhoods as well as those at risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection. Funding for TestUpMKe is provided by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s MKE Responds Fund and the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership’s Shared Community Investment Fund.