Hispanics account for 15% of COVID-19 cases in Cumberland County, the county health director said at a recent Fayetteville city council meeting.
âWe are overrepresented in terms of cases, of those who identify as Hispanic,â 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.
âWhen we look at the first part of the pandemic, minorities were over-represented among hospital patients, ranging from around 60% to 40%,â 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.
âWhat 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,â she said.
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.
âWe have issues unique to Renewâ¦ and COVID-19 testing due to the lack of information available in Spanish,â 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.
âWhen 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, âNegron-Bynum said. “It doesn’t matter if the money is available or notâ¦ 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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