HOUSTON - Locally, COVID-19 is now disproportionately affecting the Hispanic community. So what's being done to help? A new testing site, for instance, was just opened in a predominantly Hispanic area of Houston, as local leaders work to stop the rise of COVID-19 among Hispanics and in every community.
In Harris County, the Hispanic community has the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
"Since the middle of May Hispanics have made up more than 50% of total hospitalized, in some cases up to 65%,” says Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.
A new free COVID-19 testing site was just opened at Houston Community College's Felix Fraga Campus on Drennan at Navigation.
"We're not going to ask about their immigration status. The most important information we need from Hispanics is their phone number that way we can let them know their results,” explains Porfirio Villareal with the Houston Health Department.
The Health Department has also created the "Todos Juntos. Mejor" or "Better Together” campaign that gives COVID-19 information in Spanish. "We're hoping to not only do the awareness campaign that we normally do but beef that up to get the message to many more Hispanics,” adds Villareal.
According to the Harris County, Health Department Whites had the highest number of deaths at the beginning of the pandemic. Now 38% of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Harris County are Hispanic, followed by Whites at 32% and Blacks at 21%.
"Hispanics make up a sum total 60% of COVID positive cases, despite being just 44% of the population,” says Hidalgo.
To keep from catching this highly contagious virus, health officials suggest you wash your hands often, disinfect items you use regularly such as doorknobs and your phone, practice social distancing and wear a mask in public.