NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — The CDC is advising the department of health to take an enhanced targeted approach to COVID 19 testing in the Latinx and Marshallese communities.
The agency said testing is one of the best ways to find out who is infected with the coronavirus so it suggests doing serial testing of apartment complexes with a high number of COVID-19 cases. All of the residents would be encouraged to get tested. The ADH would determine a threshold for the complex and then it would test all of those residents every 5 to 7 days until the positivity rate is under that threshold.
CDC, Arkansas Field Team Lead, Angela Hernandez attended a pop-up testing event held by the state two weeks ago. She said many people showed up and it was well-received.
“The community is coming, getting tested they are concerned and doing their best to ensure that they are safe and stay healthy.”
Bilingual staff should be added to help facilitate the testing but also encourage more people to attend. Positive results should be turned over to the resident as soon as possible preferably within 24 hours, and within 48 hours for negative cases.
Meanwhile, staff would increase education efforts to promote wearing masks, social distancing practices and isolation where necessary.
The CDC found that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to testing overall from both groups and recommends making videos, posters and other handouts to break down the entire process, what happens after testing and to let the community know the resources available to them.
The ADH will decide which recommendations it will use.