ROANOKE, Va. – Hispanic communities across the state, including in Southwest Virginia, are “overrepresented” in the number of coronavirus cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Roanoke-Alleghany Health District officials said during a weekly coronavirus conference call on Tuesday that Hispanics make up 3% of the district but account for 27% of the coronavirus cases.
Dr. Tom Kerkering, a member of the health district’s communicable disease team, said language and cultural-specific messaging is being used to try to educate the communities about wearing masks, social distancing and staying home when sick.
“This population wants to work and needs to work, so many of them will still go to work when they’re sick. We obviously need to discourage that,” Kerkering explained.
The biggest problem in the area as of Tuesday, Kerkering said, was in Martinsville, Collinsville and Bassett.