JONESBORO, Ark- Across the state and here in Jonesboro not only are we seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, but an uptick in cases in the Hispanic community.
This is leading the city to increase testing efforts targeting Latinos.
“Usually minorities are the ones hit really hard when we have situations like this,” says Executive Director of the Hispanic Center in Jonesboro Gina Gomez. “We are starting to have our people tested because a lot of our people didn’t have access before for different reasons. Lack of information, a lot of language barriers and also lack of education on the importance of being tested.
Gomez says they are using social media to educate the Hispanic community on the virus.
As 10% of overall cases in the state and 20% of all current cases are in Hispanic individuals.
In Craighead County, 13.6% percent of all cases are Latinos individuals, with the cities Hispanic population being 5.2%.
Dr. Nate Smith says the increase in cases across the state is alarming but says they can be attributed to increased testing and cases stemming from the poultry industry.
To help continue efforts, COVID testing targeting the Hispanic community will be available this weekend.
“Testing for our people free of charge this Saturday May 30th. We will also have bilingual staff which is a big thing,” says Gomez.
Gomez says they are looking for future events to include the Hispanic community when it comes to learning how to return to our “new normal”.
She also wants to remind the Hispanic community to not be fearful to get tested for COVID-19.
Any information one provides while being tested is not shared with any other organizations including immigration.
The governor is also asking the department of health to allocate more money in their marketing budget for minority communities.