NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expected in Northwest Arkansas this weekend to assist in efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with a focus on the Latinx community.
Mireya Reith with Arkansas United said the state’s action in addressing the spike in cases in the Latinx and Marshallese communities in terms of outreach was slow.
She hopes that the CDC’s presence will lead to more actions and create urgency.
Reith said the biggest problem is that we really don’t know why there is such an increase in cases in those communities and that’s where the CDC comes in.
It will have bilingual speakers on the team and will be working alongside other local organizations to investigate the patterns of transmission in those groups.
She said the Arkansas Department of Health also just recently started bringing in bilingual staff to help with contact tracing.
Reith also notes that many people in the Latinx and Marshallese communities are essential workers which puts them at higher risk.
“The reality is that the fear in stopping to work or even participating in testing can result in many people in the community losing their jobs and not having access to maybe the same resources and support that other members of our state have.”
Reith said state leaders and employees have been working together to try and curb this upward trend in those high-risk communities.
Meanwhile, Arkansas United has increased its awareness and education efforts.