LatinX community says Tippecanoe County Health Department needs to expand COVID-19 resources

The Tippecane County health department says COVID-19 cases among the LatinX community are disproportionate. News 18's Marvin Bills spoke with the President of the Latino Center for Wellness and education today on how the county should work to fix this health crisis.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 4:44 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2020 10:03 AM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—"I think there are a lot of factors contributing to that," said Cassandra Salazar. 

President of the Latino Center for Wellness and Education Cassandra Salazar said the biggest set back during this pandemic for the LatinX community is accessibility.

"There's just nothing being put out there that's accessible," said Salazar. "Whether that's places where LatinX people frequently attend, whether that it's in Spanish. There are a lot of different factors."

As News 18 previously reported according to the health department 22% of the county's cases are in the Latinx community. Although Salazar says about 1 in 3 members of the LatinX Community don't have ethnicity indicated, of all positive cases. So that percentage is likely to be higher.

"There are LatinX people obviously that speak English and there are some that are bilingual and there are some Spanish or Portuguese," said Salazar.  "But I have not seen bilingual resources out there."

Vice President for Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies Monica Casanova said county health leaders need to take action.

"I think the health department reaching out to the Latino coalition of wellness and education is a great step," said Casanova.

- and that's exactly what Dr. Jeremy Adler with the Tippecanoe County Health Department said the health department is doing now.

"What we've decided to do at the health department is to focus our efforts on outreach and education," said Adler. 

He said they are working on getting education materials translated into Spanish and working with local Hispanic organizations in getting that information out. Adler said there isn't an exact reason why this wasn't happening sooner.

"Epidemics and Pandemics fully evolve over time and sometimes the populations or the groups within a population that get affected will change overtime," said Adler. "That's why we monitor these numbers."

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