Forsyth County's Hispanic Community Sees Another Spike In COVID-19 Cases

Forsyth County's Hispanic Community Sees Another Spike In COVID-19 Cases

11:01am Jun 03, 2020
Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift fields COVID-19 questions at a press conference on March 11, 2020, in Winston-Salem. DAVID FORD/WFDD

Forsyth County reported 162 new positive COVID-19 cases Monday — the largest spike in cases to date. The vast majority were found within the Hispanic community, accounting for approximately 90 percent of the new cases, according to health officials.

This is not the first time there has been a spike of COVID-19 cases in the Piedmont’s Hispanic community, and health officials are concerned. Forsyth County Public Health Director Joshua Swift says they're working to reverse the trend.

“We have two staff who have been doing extensive outreach since mid-March,” says Swift. “They have reached a total of 188 businesses and organizations in the county, distributed education posters and fliers, and sent information to 440 childcare facilities in the county. They have given out face masks and fliers to these businesses and organizations — doctors’ offices, apartment complexes, churches, restaurants, beauty salons, and other stores — that cater to the Hispanic members of our community.” 

Moving forward, Swift says their focus will continue to be on education and prevention.

“Trying to make sure that people take this seriously,” he says. “That they use a mask, use it properly. But also, a mask is no substitute for social distancing — staying six feet away from people — and taking precautions as far as washing your hands and staying home when you’re sick.”

Swift says the high numbers of COVID-19 cases are also due to families living in close quarters where it’s difficult to social distance especially inside the home. And typical work environments among Forsyth County’s Hispanic population puts them at additional risk.

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