INTRODUCTION.Prevention measures are highly important to poor communities because surveillance and access to health care may be limited.OBJECTIVES We aimed establish measures to contain and suppress the spread of COVID-19, associating education, active case tracking, and humanitarian aid in two needy communities in Brazil. The adherence to the measures and evolution of the number of cases were verified during the project.MATERIALS AND METHODS.The target population consisted of approximately 1300 participants(350 families). A collection of epidemiological data was performed in family members registered for the project. Rapid tests were performed on people who had symptoms and their contacts. Scientific information through audio-visual materials,educational pamphlets written in colloquial language, food parcels,masks,hygiene and cleaning materials were provided directly to family nuclei. RESULTS The common needs faced by families were food inputs and/or ready-to-eat food, mentioned by 91.4% (233) of the people, and hygienic and cleaning materials, mentioned by 30.6% (78) of the people. Only 34.9% (84) of families had 70% rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer gel at home.The most frequently cited sources of information on COVID-19 were television [cited by 82.4% (210) of the people]; social media [25.5% (65)]; friends, neighbours, or family members [13.7% (35)]; and radio [11.4% (29)] .A total of 83.7% (175) stated that the actions helped them to avoid leaving the community.CONCLUSIONS Community isolation may be the best way to contain the spread of pandemics in fragile populations with low socio-economic status.Educational actions combined with rapid testing and humanitarian aid were objective forms to promote community isolation.