The #COVIDCrew was formed to address a very specific need: culturally competentCOVID-19 information for Reno's Latinx community, a group disproportionately affected by the pandemic. In an effort to appeal to this population, the team took on nicknames based on characters from the hit Spanish series La Casa de Papel (Money Heist). Led by Communications Manager Diana "Berlin" Sande, the crew got to work creating culturally appropriate, entertaining, and informative public health content in English and Spanish.
As the virus evolved, so did we. Based on local and national infection trends we have expanded our target population to include 18-24-year-olds. As an affiliate of the University of Nevada, Reno, the #COVIDCrew has begun working in support of President Brian Sandoval's "Protect the Pack" initiative. Through this collaboration, we aim to keep our students safe and healthy through these difficult times.
Over time it became clear that information was not all the Latinx community was lacking. Conversations with local Disease Investigators highlighted a need for food delivery to families affected by this pandemic. By partnering with local organizations trying to fill this need, the #COVIDCrew has been able to successfully deliver food and supplies to hundreds of local families in need.
Diana Sande was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, and raised throughout Latin America. She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and hopes one day to add Italian to her repertoire. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and is beginning coursework for her MPH in 2021. Diana loves dancing salsa, merengue, bachata and reggaetón. She is passionate about helping the community she lives in and helping the Latinx population in Nevada who has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. She currently works as a communications manager at the Nevada Public Health Training Center and is the leader of the #COVIDCrew.
Zach Dupin, MPH
Zach is a Nevada native. Born and raised in Las Vegas, he moved to Reno in 2008 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He completed the Master of Public Health program at George Washington University in 2019. Zach is passionate about travel and learning about other cultures, and as part of his master's program, Zach completed a two-month internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He currently works for the Nevada Public Health Training Center as a Health Communications Manager.
Dulce was born and raised in Sinaloa Mexico. Dulce moved to Reno in 2000. She is passionate about helping the community stay healthy and fit. For the past decade, she has worked for the Nevada Early Intervention Services, interpreting for Spanish speaking families whose infants and/or toddlers have been identified as having special needs such as autism or Down Syndrome. That experience created the opportunity for Dulce to work as a Contact Tracer for the Nevada Public Health Training Center which has provided her with valuable insight into the needs of the community.
Nathan is a born and raised local from Reno Nevada and a first-generation college graduate from the University of Nevada Reno. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Community Health Science Public Health in 2018 and is currently working as a program specialist and contact tracer for the Public Health Training Center. In addition, Nathan works on the Washoe County Health District’s Sexual Health Program as a Health Educator to increase HIV and STD testing and counseling amongst minority communities.
Conrad Chow, MA
From Vancouver, Canada, Conrad moved to Reno in 2018 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, where he received a Master of Arts in Communication Studies in 2020. Previously, he completed his Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto in 2018 in Economics and Psychology. Conrad currently works for the Nevada Public Health Training Center as a Communications Specialist and Contact Tracer.