Farm worker Cesar Pascual sorts oranges on fruit growers Vince and Vicky Bernard’s orange farm as they work to help save the farm due to the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on their market in Riverside, California, U.S., August 21, 2020. Picture taken August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

As minority groups continue to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus outbreaks, some members of Congress have proposed a bill to expand access to translated materials and programs that support culturally diverse responses to the pandemic. 

The U.S. Senate introduced the Coronavirus Language Access Act to help those who have limited English proficiency, older Americans, and people with disabilities. The bill, first introduced in the spring, follows localized efforts to overcome the language barrier. In Dallas County, where 53% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are Hispanic, a task force is handing out bilingual resources to reach the Latino community. Task force leader Prisma Garcia stated the challenge lies not just in language but also in addressing cultural differences such as the tendency to continue holding family gatherings due to a more family-oriented culture. In Orange County, health officials have mandated the sign-up forms in the county’s largest testing site to be translated in multiple languages following outcries from the community. 

Communities with high populations of Latinos have been ravaged due in part because those workers make up a higher portion of roles deemed essential, causing many to catch the virus and then spread it to friends and family.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

COVID testing truck will take Pa.’s pandemic fight to disadvantaged areas – Pennlive – 8/25/2020
Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday showed off a mobile COVID-19 testing and educational effort designed to take COVID tests and information to underserved communities, especially Hispanics and Latinos.

Denver Clinic Serving Latinos Adds Spanish-Speaking Drive Through Testing For Community – CBS Denver – 8/25/2020
Galarza says large scale testing sites, like the one at the Pepsi Center, doesn’t exactly fit her family’s needs. “We went to other places, and there was a process, there were more papers, there were things to go through, and this seemed like an easy option,” Galarza said.

Latino Farm Workers In Michigan Challenge Ruling From VIrus Case – 95.3 WBCKFM – 8/26/2020
The federal lawsuit challenges an order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that singles out Latino farmworkers for COVID-19 testing. The suit claims the state is unconstitutionally discriminating against Latinos. The growers and farm workers filed their lawsuit jointly since their work is intertwined.

CDC study finds Latino and African American children more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 – KNXV – 8/26/2020
A comprehensive study administered by the Centers for Disease Control on Hispanic and African American children contracting COVID-19 found that Latinos are eight times more likely than white children to be hospitalized for the virus and African American children are five times more likely.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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