BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - While researchers are still learning new information daily about COVID-19 right now, they can all agree on one thing – masks can help prevent infection. That’s why getting masks into these communities that don’t have access to them is so important to help stop the spread, since Latino and Black communities are five times more likely to contract coronavirus.
“It’s more because of their access to care, lack of education and understanding, lack of access to preventative equipment while also being essential front line workers, difficulty with housing situations and stability or being in cramped quarters which makes it very difficult to self-isolate and quarantine,” explained Dr. Lisa Merrit, from the Multicultural Health Institute.
Doctors say they know that not everyone has the luxury to be able to buy these masks and protective equipment, or even to stay at home and self-isolate. Community partners have teamed up with the multicultural health institute to make sure these communities are able to protect themselves from COVID-19 by hosting weekly drive-ups distributing masks, hand-sanitizer, food and information on other resources available.
“If we can get them to feed their families for let’s say two days, that’s two days of quarantine or two days of not having to go out. If I can help them to get rent paid for this month, or help them to get to a doctor to get some medical help, this is very important. It will help. It may not solve the whole problem, but we’ve got to start somewhere,” JoOni Jones, the Director of Equality for the Multicultural Health Institute said.
Every Friday, for the next five Fridays from 4-6 p.m., they will be having a drive up distribution at La Mirada in Bradenton for whomever needs masks, food or information. Learn more about the efforts here.