This commentary argues that an informed and empowered public is more likely to engage in recommended preventive behaviors and offers suggestions for empowering community members.
Population-empowering communication is necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health officials must tailor their communication using preferred channels of the target audiences. By filling communication gaps, trust in government and public health officials can be established. This can be positively affected by providing clear and transparent information to encourage self-efficacy for managing risk. Because individuals are becoming more anxious with the number of COVID-19 deaths, positive framing of messages can reduce anxiety and adverse behavioral responses. Finally, information must include clear actionable recommendations to be empowering.