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CDC officials in Northwest Arkansas to monitor COVID-19 cases



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in Northwest Arkansas to help the state contain the outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Both Benton and Washington Counties continue to see a significant rise in cases.

Four CDC scientists arrived in the area Sunday (June 14). They have bilingual members who will work within the Latino community to help with the spread of the virus.

“They will be looking at cases in the area, they will be attempting to identify links and they will be assisting us in reaching out to the Hispanic Latino with regards to messaging for prevention,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said.

Director of the Hispanic Women’s Organization in Arkansas, Margarita Solorzano, says the attention on what’s happening in the Latino and Marshallese communities is long overdue.

“This is a very sensitive issue right now, it’s affecting us all,” Solorzano said.

She says health, financial and legal reasons all play a factor in the growing number of cases in those specific communities.

Solorzano says she met with the CDC officials Monday (June 15) to help identify transmission of the virus in the home, community and workplace. She says this is crucial because many people in the Hispanic and Marshallese communities work essential jobs.

“This is creating a lot of fear in the community because we don’t know who has it,” she said.

Solorzano says she is thankful to have the CDC and Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to help.

The Hispanic Women’s Organization is working to spread helpful information and provide financial help to the community impacted by COVID-19. They are also helping to coordinate testing for minorities and create a better flow of information.

CDC officials will be in our area for the next three weeks.