Higher COVID cases among Hispanic population in Cumberland County


Hispanics account for 15% of COVID-19 cases in Cumberland County, the county health director said at a recent Fayetteville city council meeting.

“We are overrepresented in terms of cases, of those who identify as Hispanic,” said health director Jennifer Green.

About 12% of the county’s population is Hispanic, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

More than 43,600 residents of Cumberland County have contracted COVID-19, according to the NCDHHS.

“When we look at the first part of the pandemic, minorities were over-represented among hospital patients, ranging from around 60% to 40%,” said Michael Zappa, clinical director of Cape Fear Valley Health.

Norma Negron-Bynum, Owner of Renew Counseling and Founder of The Latino community connects, said COVID-19 cases among the Hispanic population are high because large numbers go unvaccinated. She said she and her family are vaccinated.

“What we have in Cumberland County, which I have found, is the lack of radio, the lack of social media, the lack of information provided in Spanish,” she said.

An 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper is tested for COVID-19 on May 3, 2021 at Fort Bragg.  The tests are in preparation for participation in Swift Response 21, a joint multinational airborne exercise involving more than 7,000 paratroopers from 10 NATO countries.

Negron-Bynum was born in Puerto Rico, but has lived the last 20 years in Fayetteville. As a member of the Hispanic community, she said the language barrier, religion and fear of deportation are some of the reasons a number of Hispanics do not wish to receive the COVID vaccine. 19.

“We have issues unique to Renew… and COVID-19 testing due to the lack of information available in Spanish,” Negron-Bynum said. She says she is often asked to translate documents into Spanish for her patients.

At Renew Counseling, to perform a COVID-19 test, a Health Resources and Services Administration form must first be completed.

“When someone isn’t insured, you put their information into a document and turn it into HRSA. HRSA gives you an ID number, and that’s the number you use to bill for this COVID test, ”Negron-Bynum said. “It doesn’t matter if the money is available or not… we still have to enter demographic information.”

Basic information is also needed to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients.

Negron-Bynum said the form is for billing and demographic purposes only, there are no consequences for uninsured or undocumented patients.

In an effort to combat cases of COVID-19 among Hispanic residents, the Department of Health has partnered with NCDHHS and the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension to offer COVID-19 vaccines to farm workers, the majority of whom are Hispanics, Green said.

The health ministry also provides information in Spanish and / or has a Spanish-speaking interpreter at COVID-19 vaccination sites, Green said.

In addition, COVID-19 campaigns in Spanish are broadcast on radio, television and social networks have also been implemented by the Department of Health in collaboration with Hispanic organizations.

Health and Education Editor Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3561.

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