ORLANDO, Fla. – This holiday season, as families are preparing for Christmas and a time that’s usually spent with loved ones, health experts and community leaders are urging people to play it safe.
There’s a big push this year for people to meet only with their immediate families for Christmas.
“I caution, for the sake of this year, perhaps we don’t need to meet as we have in the past,” said Richard Black, publisher and Editor in Chief of Onyx Magazine.
Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill knows firsthand, through a personal story, the impact the virus has on the black community. Her brother died in August from Covid-19.
“I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through this Christmas by not having my brother,” said Commissioner Hill. “I’m trying to make sure they know that Covid is real, it’s still here.”
Thursday, Onyz Magazine, Commissioner Hill and many others came together for a virtual town hall to educate African Africans on risk factors and how to be safe this Christmas and to hear from a doctor.
“We’re seeing that black people are being disproportionately affected by Covid 19,” said Dr. Tolu Adebanjo from Orlando Health. “We have to again make that choice to put the community first and protecting others.”
The Florida Department of Health’s dashboard shows that in Orange County, African Americans make up 15% of total cases.
And as of Thursday, in zip codes 32805 and 32801, which make up portions of the Parramore area in Orange County, there were more than 2,000 reported cases of COVID-19. Overall in Orange County Thursday, there were 59,791 positive cases. The Parramore zip codes make up less than 2% of cases in the Orange County population.
There have been several mask-up campaigns and a big push in black communities to take Covid-19 seriously.
“That’s what’s it’s all about, surviving Covid-19,” said Richard Black.
There will be free COVID testing this Saturday at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church from 9 a.m.-Noon.
It’s being hosted by the Central Florida Regional Housing Trust, The Central Florida Urban League, the Parramore Community Engagement Council and other organizations.