Marshallese community members want to meet with the CDC

KNWA

"We want to be part of this conversation," Laelan said. "It would be a failure for them if they don't stop by and say, hi let's talk about this."

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived in Northwest, Arkansas, on Saturday, June 13, to study the chain of transmission among the Latinx community.

I never thought I would live in an era [where] we’re losing almost a Marshallese person almost every week.

MELISA LAELAN, ARKANSAS COALITION OF MARSHALLESE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

The CDC got boots on the ground Monday, June 15, in Springdale.

It’s about time. Why didn’t you come a long time ago?

MELISA LAELAN, ARKANSAS COALITION OF MARSHALLESE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

Dr. Jose Romero with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) said the CDC came to the area to help better understand transmission patterns among the Latinx community — a group that’s been disproportionately affected by the virus.

“They will be assisting us in bringing information out to the Spanish and Latino community in regards to messaging for prevention,” Dr. Romero said.

Another group reporting a high number in deaths is the Marshallese community.

I know it’s a very small population, but if you look at the death rate. That’s a very alarming number.

MELISA LAELAN, ARKANSAS COALITION OF MARSHALLESE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
Legislation_to_Help_Local_Marshallese_Fo_0_20190215035925
According to the Census Bureau, Springdale has the largest Pacific Islander community in the United States.

Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese Executive Director Melisa Laelan said she’s been talking to people at both state and local levels about the need for resources.

“Unfortunately, in this particular community when you say it’s okay, we forget about other things,” Laelan said.

She’s even reached out to the CDC to see if they could also help identify the best ways to intervene and break the chain of transmission within the Marshallese community.

“We want to be part of this conversation,” Laelan said. “It would be a failure for them if they don’t stop by and say — hi let’s talk about this.‘”

Arkansas United, an immigrant resource group based in Springdale, was among the first groups to meet with the CDC.

Details on the CDC’s schedule of events while members are in NWA are still being developed.

Laelan said she hopes to hear back from them soon.

Stay with KNWA/KFTA as we continue to reach out to the CDC about its plans.

As of June 15, Washington County has reported 18 deaths due to COVID-19. The four additional deaths reported since Thursday (June 11) are listed below.

  • 48-year-old Hispanic man from Springdale died June 11 at home
  • 33-year-old Marshallese woman from Springdale died June 12
  • 47-year-old Marshallese man from Springdale died June 13
  • 96-year-old Hispanic man from Springdale died June 13

As of June 15, Benton County has reported 21 deaths due to COVID-19. The six additional deaths reported since Thursday (June 11) are listed below.

  • 46-year-old Marshallese woman from Springdale died June 10.
  • 33-year-old Marshallese man from Rogers died June 11.
  • 65-year-old Marshallese man from Springdale died June 11.
  • 47-year-old Marshallese man from Rogers died June 11.
  • 85-year-old white woman from Springdale died June 12.
  • 57-year-old Marshallese man from Rogers died June 14.

Arkansas Coalition of Marshallese is a nonprofit organization in Springdale.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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