ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County Commissioners and school board members are calling for better support for the Hispanic community amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioners and school board members told reporters Tuesday at a mobile testing site in South Econ Community Park that more resources are needed to inform people about the illness and testing. The testing site closest to Orange County’s hardest hit zip code, 32822.
“We need to step up and go into our language, and our community, and get this information out," District 3 Orange County Commissioner Mayra Uribe said.
Uribe was joined by Orange County Public School Board members.
“I believe that our Spanish speaking community deserves the same attention as everyone else,” school board member Johanna Lopez said.
Officials called for evening and weekend testing to give opportunities to those who work during the day, and cannot make it during the current hours.
They also say transportation is needed.
"If you noticed, there’s no public transportation here,” Uribe said.
Uribe said while she and other elected officials have been posting information in Spanish on their social media accounts, she said they haven’t been asked by Mayor Jerry Demings to speak at his news conferences.
“We have not been formally invited, nor are we apart of the agenda under the mayor’s press conferences,” Uribe said.
Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health, regularly answers questions in English and Spanish during county coronavirus updates.
News 6 reached out to Demings and received this statement in response:
“The County Commissioners have been notified and invited to every news briefing. They have not had speaking roles but have always been notified and invited to attend every media event. I encourage all of our commissioners to share important information and statistics to their constituents as it relates to COVID-19. I appreciate the commissioner’s work, and recognize that we can only flatten this COVID-19 curve by working together.”
The Florida Department of Health said they are on target for 200 plus collection samples at the South Econ Community Park site. The mobile location is open to appointments and walk ups.
Appointments are available by calling 407-723-5004, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.