As the state of Arkansas sees a growing number of new COVID-19 cases, there is also a growing concern around the efforts to reach minority communities in regards to information about the virus.
While in Rogers yesterday, June 1, Gov. Asa Hutchinson met with Latino leaders and community representatives of Northwest Arkansas to discuss effective outreach efforts. Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith also reported yesterday that 43 percent of the cases in the Northwest Arkansas region alone have been in the Latino community.
However, the COVID-19 Latinx Stakeholder Group was established and began meeting in early May to focus on increasing awareness and access to testing within the Latino community.
The group is composed of 28 members that represent the Latino community across various industry sectors like government, health care, faith leaders, business and media.
One of the members, Dr. Jose Romero, joined Hutchinson at his press conference today to provide an update on the group. Romero is the chief medical officer at the Arkansas Department of Health and chief of the pediatric infectious disease section at Arkansas Children’s.
“Our primary goal is to communicate the importance, the significance, of COVID-19 infections to the Latinx community in Spanish in order to make them aware of the situation in our state,” said Romero. “We discussed testing in hotspot areas. We are developing current informational videos and texts in Spanish to transmit the importance of testing and the importance of protective personal measures against COVID-19.”