NC teams up with community groups to get coronavirus warnings out to Latino residents
State public health and safety officials provide a June 26, 2020, update on the coronavirus outbreak in North Carolina and the state's response to it.
China, and today is a special press conference. We have a number of special guests, and I'm joined by Dr Viviana Martinez Bianchi, director of health equity in the Duke Department of Family, Medicine and Community Health. Pilar Rocha Goldberg, president and CEO of AL Central Hispano. And who? Benicio Rocha Peralta, executive director of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina. Karen Magoon and Monica McGee are American sign language interpreters and working behind the scenes. As always, our Spanish translators Jackie and Jasmine. Motive here. So first I'll start with a rundown of the numbers. As of this morning, there were there were 58,818 laboratory confirmed cases. 892 people are currently hospitalized, and sadly, there've been 1303 deaths. Throughout our response to this pandemic, we relied on the science and data to guide our efforts to help slow the spread of the virus. The data is very clear that Cove in 19 is having a dramatically disproportionate impact on Hispanic Latin X North Carolinians, as it is across the country, many in our Hispanic Latin X community provide essential services such as construction or child care and food processing industries that are not only the bedrock of our economy and normal times, they keep our state functioning and running while most of us were able to shelter at home, we also know that at the same time, work is makes social distancing challenging. Some may not provide health insurance, and it can create a financial burden for someone who is sick to stay at home. One of the many people taking action is doctor Viviana Martinez. Beyonc? She founded Latin 19 the Latin X advocacy team and Interdisciplinary Network for Cove in 19. I'm also grateful that she's serving on our Cove in 19 Response team. She's here with us today to share Maura about the impact of Cove in 19 on the Hispanic Latin X community. Saul, turn it over to her now. Thank you, Secretary Cohen, for the opportunity. My dear Hispanic community, I am here as a Latina, as an immigrant, as a doctor on behalf of health workers, to let you know that we see you that we hear you on that we're concerned about your anxieties and your fears, determined to look after you, where your doctors, your clinicians and nurses on were concerned about what is happening today with the health of the Latino community in North Carolina. We're concerned about the rising number of Corbett 19 in the latter next community more and more every day and now make up the majority of daily cases throughout the state. But why so many cases that the next workers your essential to the economy off North Carolina, while others were ableto isolate at home, you had to go out to work. You work in meat processing plants in cleaning, in construction in supermarkets, hospitals and kitchens, in many cases without access to personal protective equipment such as thes masks, which are so necessary to prevent the transmission off the virus from person to person. The transmission of Coronado's happened while working shoulder to shoulder all day in your jobs, in the break rooms and in the cars in which you travel together, toe work without wearing a mask and from there to your homes and to your friends at times for whole families contracting the virus. So we are now in a very serious situation in which every person in the latter next community has to take their house as their responsibility on fight this dangerous virus. The authorities can implement measures, but if we're not aware of the importance of wearing the mask, keeping our distance and washing our hands, any measure by the authorities will be useless to those who believe that this is not serious. I asked you priest to think about the people who have already died hard working, beloved and missed by their families. For those who are afraid off the virus, you have to take care off yourself. Get tested. If you feel fever or flu symptoms, or if a contact off yours has the Corona virus, you need to go to urgent or emergency care when you start toe, have chest pain, shortness of breath, paleness and bluish lip color. Do not wait on this. Do not let fear overcome you because we're going to take care of you and help you hear if you have diabetes, adjust your diet and insulin or medication to control it. Because people with poorly controlled diabetes at a higher risk off time from Corbyn 19 We are immigrants and Children of immigrants were resilient. We cross borders and cultures, so our family and our dream could have a better life were an essential part off economy. Off this state, we must overcome fear on beat the corner virus with confidence and power off unorganized community. Let's work together for better health. Yes, we can. And now I'm going to repeat what I said in Spanish Ikaria comida Latina. Estoy aqui. Kamala Tina Coming Me Grant Dora Mallory is posa hermana represent asean the Los Trabajadores de la Salud. But our service there were pillows Bay most Lucescu charmer coupons one si that is Emilio it case Thomas v. London Borough Stairs. So most was a doctor. It's was cleaning, cozy and for Merah's yes, Dima Procope follows for looking tapas and oy call Absolutely like a monitor Latina in Carolina North Coupon Like and er they finally Toncontin Concho videos in very massive mask Correa represent on the oil and material castles Diarios the totally style parquet Tantos castles Their heart is Latino So status one a sincere Alice. But I like Oh no merely Catalina del Norte de Soto's put it on paper money. Serra is Lagos in Swiss Casas, who stated they beat on Salida trabajar trabajan in plantas process salaries. The cardinals and in Piazza, in construction on the bomber, Gago's hospital, a sicko, Sina's and moochers castles. See? Next say so I keep on the protection. Personal mackerel. Timeless is serious, but maybe Carla Thomas Young heroes persona persona Umbro, Umbro juntos al trabajo. See no Salamanca, Reja said. If Mr Under Carnaby heroes, either yes was cast us a lateral unicorn amigos, unless expose us is born. The Paris Los Ninos In a second drama, Soy Carnesi does your moist area and, like cattle Latino expand Tina Kasimir Combat Here I este peligroso videos The South Koreans are squaring. Implement our Merida's but only casino Osama con ciencia. The importance of those are LaMarca Were there Distancia Lombardo Las manos Love me read aloud, Oriali said. Any new Tillis? Ah, look a grand K Stone said. Your reputable for work appearance and authentic Asia. But soon after, it could eat us. But look it in and middle videos I kick without a si a Sir Sula prueba sitting in fear really on symptom. Agree past arrogant self test takeover contact of the alien Katrina Cortana videos. I can't quit your hand. The whole Americans a Qantas MPs had no hurdle or the page falta The idea, if you could double a rapid are really there's cholera. Solano No, said they star. No Dave Finkel Mule Venza Park, Alabama Sat in there. Usually are lost in Su Salud City in and the greatest ah, hosting Sudi eight America, Mentos or in Salina Para Control Arla Korcula Persona has no control. A majority holder morir por karsa del Corona beer does piensa for a stable K file today. So Casa Thomas's interior eso familia So most immigrant, this a horse. Amy Grant is the name of resiliency Osama Frontera sequel to rest. But I can metre familias and after strenuous to be a normal heart of you here. So my partisan CIA like anemia. I came and settled middle. You caught on a video school? A convenience available there live in a community Oregon, you Saleh, but on a horse glasses. Thank you so much, Dr Martinez Bianchi. We're so pleased that you are here, that we work closely with our team. We have to do better this week. We further strengthened our ongoing work to slow the spread of the virus and protect workers across North Carolina. As you know, governor, Cooper issued a statewide requirement to wear face coverings in public spaces and is part of Wednesday's action. Governor Cooper also required workers in food processing facilities to wear surgical masks and required face coverings and other high risk industries such as construction and farming. We're grateful to those employers who were already doing this for their workers, and we want to see more of it. In addition to prevention actions that slow the spread of the virus, we at the state also continue to ramp up testing. We're focusing on increasing testing in our Hispanic Latin next communities, particularly in areas that have few, if any, testing sites. And we're prioritizing hiring contact tracers who are from the communities that they serve. Of those hired to date, 44% are bilingual. Today. We are also announcing a new partnership with five organizations who have been actively engaged in supporting communities during the Kobe pandemic and well before Hispanic Latin X. North Carolinians are strong and resilient and we are investing in that strength. We're committed to working with the people on the ground who know their communities best. So today we're announcing that we're providing $100,000 grants to MX can True Ridge Que Pasa, El Centro Hispano and Latin American Coalition of Charlotte so that they can further increase their impact. I'm grateful to have representatives from two of those five organizations with me today to talk more about this important work. I'll first recognized Pilar Rocha Goldberg from El Centro Hispano. Thank you so much. Secretary. Go ahead. When I started Statoil's Good Afternoon, everybody, I am Pillar Raja Goldberg, president and CEO for Sentry Spano. We are a Latino non profit organization dedicated to strengthening the community, building bridges on advocating for equity and inclusion for Hispanics. Latinos in the triangle area off North Carolina. During this pandemic at in Central Spano, we're taking every possible precaution to protect our people social distancing, teleworking mask wearing frequent hand washing and much more. We are also doing everything we can to support our community, who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, on whose jobs many of them consider essential are making it possible for the country to continue to function during the pandemic. The number off calls to our offices has tripled since the middle of March. We have answered almost 2000 calls on 100 follow up calls have been made from our intern easily salute in partnership with the Mexican consulate. Almost 600 people have received information related to covet in the Mexican consulate on an additional 600 people have received medical services in our mobile health unit. We live out consume victorious thanks to the outstanding work off all the members off our team. On thanks to collaborations, partnerships and private donors, we have help around 1400 families with food for a total of 505,600 people, off which 2800 are minors. Along with the food, we have bean delivering clothes masks that we both from 15 local artisans or have been donated. We are helping approximately 300 families with rent and utilities. We continue to support 100 people with our education programs on connect with 140 40 members in our support groups. Our social media on website have focused on Cove in 19 prevention in the latter next community, which reaches around 1 40,000 people every month. Together with the North Carolina, his spotting media, we launched the N. C. You need a Control Videos campaign, which aims to send unified messages to the address lati next community to raise awareness about covered 19 are reduced. Contagion has off. Today. 22 organizations, including local nonprofit and some local government agencies, have joined this in this initiative. We have been working her, but we still have a lot to do to support the LATI next community. Only together, Assad community. We will be able to overcome these challenging times and also to tackle its profound consequences. It is why these collaboration on this funding from the state is so important to continue our work on behalf of the board on the staff. Off a sentry. Spano. We want to think the governor's secretary Cohen and Carlton Cornell, right from the Office of Minority Health and held these parties for recognizing the needs of the latter. Next community on for partnering with nonprofits, organizations who have the boots on the ground doing the work. Thank you for helping us to continue serving our local community, which has grasses. Thank you so much, Pilar. And now I'll ask you, Ben CEO Rocha Peralta from an ex con to say a few words. Good afternoon and thank you so much, secretary for allow me to use this platform to share now only their stand off a Mishcon by insight into the point of the view from the Latino community and the state of North Carolina. Again, my name is Winter Rocha Peralta, and I'm the executive director of the Association of Mexicans in Orca Lana. For more than 20 years on, this guy has been seven the Latino community in North Carolina through a framework of culture, leadership, health, advocacy and education. More so now doing this pandemic Christ compared to previous natural disasters with a spy that the Latinos are. So this approach this a proportional effect. But I see a unique opportunity to overcome the systematic barriers between the Latino community and the state in the local government. What this community is historic am visible in selling for governments. The fact that Hispanic and Latinos, only 10% of the population, account for 46 off confirmed cases in the case. The now is the time to mend this trough in locker consensual connections. Nice town through are working together to resolve discover pandemic situations, toe building a support indentified a connect communities in order to comprehensively prepare for the next natural disasters. I'm incredible optimistic about these possible base on the work or is in progress in the opponents. Work under Under Standing the Latino position in the North Carolina to close my remarks, I would like to connect our miss cons five hour frameworks that I mentioned before we now a Latino orientation oriented process could work force for culture and held. Recognizing that the North Carolina is a multicultural state with many towns, many counties in regions having a sizable Latino population in any approach to anticipate the probably health needs of these communities not to react. Four. Education critical information to be able in Spanish and access to those Andrew areas and trying and with the advocacy and leadership includes a prominent Latino individuals, businesses, organizations and effort can insure this again when I thank you for your time and contruction at the Air Force. Then now is we're moving forward in a special toe. Assign resources to attack the situation of the pandemic. Thank you. Well, thank you, Ben CEO. And thanks to all of you for being here at really important messages for our ah, Hispanic Latin X community shared today. But with that, we will turn it over to your questions. Thank you for our reporters on the line. We ask that you press one if you have a question and then five, If you have a follow up, we'll take our first question today from Victoria. Little bit within. Lost a look. You know Hi. Thank you so much. Secretary Cohen and everyone for being here. I wanted to follow up on something that, um, Mr Pilar Britta Goldberg from a century Spano mentioned about families being unable to pay rent. I'm wondering if part of this initiative would also include, um, money going to Hispanic families who can't pay rent due to job loss. Or, um, maybe even a state funded that would support the families who don't qualify for unemployment benefits and also haven't qualified stimulus. Well, thank you so much for the question. I think that we've been talking a lot about testing and doing contact tracing, but important. An important component of making sure that we fight this virus and slow the spread is making sure that someone, if they have cove in 19 or have been exposed to Cove in 19 can stay home, and that choice is not always available to all of us in the same way. And we know, particularly in the LAT next community, that can often mean the choice between being able to pay rent or put food on the table. And I think this is a first step working with some of the organizations that are close to the ground, unable to work directly with the communities. I think you were hearing about how they are already doing some of this. We wanted to support this further. But from the state perspective in the county perspective, we're also looking two ways in which we can leverage additional federal dollars and state dollars to help around housing. In particular, number of our counties are already taking advantage of what something is called non congregate shelter or opportunities for folks to help them isolate if they're not able to in the in the housing situation when they're in. But much more needs to be done in this in this space, and I think that's the what you are seeing in moving forward today. Ah, with this partnership with these five organizations, but I know would you want to say any more about what you planned. Okay, Thank you so much for the question, because we know sometimes there are phones available, but there it's the process to get. Those phones are very cumbersome for our community. So this is when we come into play to really help local governments and other organizations or foundations to do that work. So we make sure our community can tap into those resources and have really the help they need. Great. Thank you, Pilar. Thanks for that question. Question is from Brian Anderson with the Associated Press Gretchen Sports With simple photos UH Enamel Brian Anderson Cone Associated Press on Brian Anderson with The Associated Press Thanks for taking my time and taking my question here. Uh, first for Dr Cohen. Thank you so much for releasing the county level data with cases and deaths, and I wanted to follow up with your office for one more thing. On that, there's an easier way, more digestible way to get it. But my question for the Hispanic community is just sort of with regard to the disproportionate impact that were seeing around Cove ID. I was hoping that with the latest uptick maybe you could speak toe whether it's getting worse over time for the Hispanic community. Uh, and also I was serious. Many of these numbers of the Hispanic community work for meat processing plant or other factories. Has there been any enforceable fines or step taken against some of these employers who have potentially endangered the safety of their workers? Thank you. Well, Brian first thanks for the question. I want to turn it over to our guests, in particular, Dr Martinez Bianchi for ah, really give you a better perspective on the what she is seeing in our Latin X communities. But what we have seen in our numbers here in North Carolina is that early on, in the the outbreak of Cove in 19 we actually saw, um, our original case is really linked more to people who were traveling. Then we saw more of those cases in more recent weeks and months related to some of our historically marginalized communities. As we've talked about those who, while many of us were able to shelter at home, obviously couldn't and we're working in essential businesses have more exposures, and I think that is what we're seeing now in the numbers, but let me turn this over to Dr Martinez Bianchi. Thank you, Dr Cohen. Brian, thank you for your question. You were asking, Are we seeing a screen nations and seeing people we call the 19 A. We see an increasing numbers on the front line. We are seeing increasing numbers, and we're also seeing it in data in the country of durum. For example, at this point last month, they were about 67% of the cases. This month is 79 almost 80% of the cases. So so off those with positive testing. But we're also hearing on the phone many members of families who are all of them getting sick, passing it from one person to another. We're also hearing about the fear off getting to the hospital the fear of being separated from their families, the fear off. No getting to see them ever again. The fear of having to pay a tremendous amount of money to be able to be cared for. So we spend a lot of time on the phone trying to assess what is going on. How sick are they Do they can they access a respiratory center and we're no seen enough clarity from different health systems about where can people access and will they be able to do to get the care they need without having to pay when when they don't have insurance so they don't have the means off for the costly care that this entails? You mentioned about a sources off infection with you? Talk about meatpacking plans. We saw it happening. North Carolina. It has been reported to have had 23 different plans without brakes and and most off them, many of them employees, members of the latter next community, Um, one of the things that you have seen a secular nation that is, that maybe a number of cases are reported for the workers in the plant, but we don't hear the reports off the family members that were also affected. The two members off the company that got sick but then took it home and then seven off their home family members. So maybe there is a report of 50 cases, but there's 200 members off that community that were affected through a transmission. This is why we're advocating so much for for the use off masks that what was? I really think this is an important important issue to think about. The mask is not a political event. The mask is a public health Is me protecting you from getting sick and having others protecting me from getting It's getting sick from them. So I hope these hubs in at once or some of your questions Terrific. Thank you. Next question. We have a follow up from Brian Anderson with BP and sorry for Dr Cole. And, uh, I know there was the racetrack over near Burlington that was shut down. Has there been any sort of enforceable find that were actions your department has taken with regard toe employers that that might have endangered the safety of certain numbers of the Hispanic population so that I think you're referring to the legal action that we took with a speedway? And yes, they are continued to be enjoying from from further races, cause again that we felt that was a public health concern there. Obviously, we have a number of rules and restrictions in place to make sure that we're trying to keep the spread of the virus level low. I think I want to make sure we're making the connection that it takes all of us not just one particular community, but all of us to keep that virus level low. So when when the governor earlier this week asked for us all to wear face coverings that is protecting all of us as well as those in some of our higher risk Ah, work settings like a meatpacking process or a long term care setting or a grocery store, it's going to take all of us working together to wear face coverings. It's a simple tool, but it's something that works. Are the science tells us it does on. And it's something that we can do to protect our public health but also protect our businesses. So that's the thing that we are focused on to make sure that we can not only protect our lad next community, protect every all of us here in North Carolina. Thank you. Our next question is from Aaron Sanchez Vieira with the News and Observer. Yes. Hello. Good afternoon. We want to set aside the Secretary Coyne. Thank you for taking my question. My question was about, um, the agricultural farm workers were mostly Latino immigrants in North Carolina, specifically those who are foreign guest workers through the H two, a, uh, visa program. I wanted to ask what the progress was from the governor's office well of the state Department of Health on meeting some of the demands from the Farmworker advocacy Network concerning protections for workers during Copa, 19 protections for their housing and also, uh, including protections for the upcoming hurricane season on such a evacuating them. There's a range of concerns that are expressed for the farm workers that harvest our crops and, uh, handle tobacco tree potato, but wanted to know, uh, what's in store for handling that are very important part of the Latino population in North Carolina. Thank you. Thanks for that really important question. Yes, we have. Our agricultural space in North Carolina is not only important to our economy here in North Carolina, but around this country. Um, and we need to make sure that we're protecting the workers that are there in those farms. They come to North Carolina, sometimes for a short period of time. We want to make sure that they're as protective that we can. I will keep going back to some of the protective measures that we put in place earlier this week around the requirements on face coverings. Those are required in not only in public settings but in particular work settings. And we were sure to call out agriculture in particular as well as when folks are in congregate living settings as well as on transportation, like large buses, private or public eso really, as I want to take, ah, to go back to have Dr Martinez Bianchi share with you the importance of those face coverings as first prevention. So that's that's the top top thing. We want to prevent the spread of this virus. And again, it's not any one community that needs to do this. We all need Teoh. But then it's about how do we ramp up testing, contact, tracing, and then you are right about the isolation support. And we were talking earlier about the importance of making sure that we can have housing for folks. And that is where we're doing some additional work with our counties and here at the state level to make sure that we can meet the needs of our of our farm workers. But let me see if others want to say anything. In addition, there was a study published this week by you. Okay, hold on. I think it's important to refer. Refer to a very important study published this week at York University. Unfortunately, I don't have the names of the authors, but there was. It is very interesting to see the curves of what happened once joke instituted universal masking where every employee, a duke, has to wear a mask at work. And we saw that that the transmission was going up and then flatten completely as people started wearing masks. We saw it among health workers in the institution, stopped getting sick from coronavirus by using the mask in spite off actually seen people that may have coronavirus coming into institution. There's really the use of the mask is really the most important measure at this time. Thank you. We do recognize it in farmworker industry. That's important for us. It's important for the state of North Carolina, but I think now more than ever, I think what we need to do is to integrate or these five organizations that getting support from the state to integrate other organizations to address the issue. I think this issues the secretary had mentioned it. It's across the board. If its impact on everybody s every single community here. Our main focus is working with the Latino community. But I think now more than ever, we had to integrate all the different organizations across the state. The work in a specific with a Latino population, regardless of what industry. What communities. But all we need to come together. Well Said whom? India. Thank you. Next question. Next question is from Rafael Prieto. Um I don't get about something. Can day in car lots. Hello, Pilar. Hello. Who went you? Um, the situation here in Mecklenburg County is, um, like in other parts of your state. Ah, very about four days Panic. We are 40% of the population. And right now we came toe close to 40% off the cases. Uh, in question of dead. Um 78 had bean for white population, 44 African Americans on only 12 or Latino. But, um, in a reason soon. Ah, meeting with the panic Miller chip with the local authorities the negative. It praised the situation or presented situation that I wondered as yours Ah, by the estate are important on a normal day. Local measures are important. They were asking for the police for the authorities. Find the people that doesn't comply with those measures. Toe find people ticket people that have parties that even investigation to find the people That doesn't use the month. Right now, I want to know. Is the great plan really toe local government to import? Ah, the measured by Governor Cooper. All right, well, thanks for that question. And so yes, as you were referring to on Wednesday, Governor Cooper did issue a new requirement for people to wear face coverings in public spaces. And there is an enforcement on that for our businesses, particularly in retail, in restaurants and other public settings. The enforcement is on the business, and we, um we ask all of our local law enforcement partners to work with us on this. They are the ones that enforce our rules in our laws. This is an important public health effort. You've heard it from Dr Martinez. Beyonc? All afternoon. It's an important public health rule. And, um, we especially hope all of our law enforcement partners are going to work with us to make sure that this is taken seriously. But I also encourage our our local leadership to model this and making sure that they are are showing their communities that this is a really important public health tool. I think you're you're seeing today, um, that not only North Carolina numbers we have been talking about have been going in the wrong direction. But we're seeing states around us, really see some severe increases in their numbers on, and they're having to go backwards, actually in their easing of restrictions. And I don't want to do that. And we have a tool here that we can all use together in terms of face covering. So it's important for us all to work together on this, and we're going to continue to do this. And I appreciate the support of all of the leaders across North Carolina, whether they're elected or local law enforcement. They're in the business community, entertainment community in the Latin, next community. We all we all need to go come together on this, uh, this important issue wearing face coverings so that we can make sure that this virus does not spread across our state further, um, and that we can get back to the things that we want to do. Like sending our kids to school, Uh, come become this August in this fall. So that's the work we're gonna focus on. Thanks so much for the question. Our next question comes from Rose Hoban with and help me. I, uh, Secretary Colin, Um, good to talk to you. I have a couple of questions. The 1st 1 is about some surges, you know? Do you have kind of, ah, working hypothesis as to why we're seeing the surge? Was it? Protests both reopen and see. And the black lives, matters. Protests. Was it the, um, you know, wasn't things like a speedway? What is it more based on industry of? What's your working hypothesis around this? Thanks, Rose. So we are trying to dive into our numbers mawr. I think what we shared earlier in the week that we're seeing a lot more cases in our younger population. So 18 to 49 is where we're seeing a lot more of our new cases. Um, we and we think that is related to a lot of the reopening. We know folks are moving around more when we look at our movement. data here in North Carolina. Folks are moving around and the virus is moving around. We haven't seen yet in our data. Anything related to protests? Specifically, Um, but we have been seeing are our numbers go up? That really has been since the start of our phase two of easing restrictions. Folks are moving around more. We're doing more things that we all knew were higher risk on and again. I think it goes back to this. This conversation we've been having about the numbers were seeing in our Latin next community. There are folks who are don't have the opportunity to stay home like some of us dio and are outrunning, uh, essential businesses and working every day. And and as more virus moves around, that means everyone's risk of exposure when they're in public spaces goes up. And it's exactly why we took the action we did this week. Teoh require the face coverings in public spaces because we're seeing just mawr virus in her community. What I would say is, we're seeing Mawr community spread, meaning that we can't link the case back to a specific circumstance or setting that we knew they they got exposed and just means are the viruses out there in our community, which is again, why we took the step to move to these face coverings. And again they work. Dr. Martinez Bianchi was munchy was saying, Ah, that you know, the new studies coming out every day about how they can flatten the curve, or so the spread of the virus. And that's why we implemented it, that this, uh, this week and we'll take our final question today from Corinne Vehicle both walking. But after Emily, thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak to aware of towards Today as we have paid, our community has suffered from the pandemic. They have had to pay rent and they have no benefits, and they are afraid off reporting seat because they don't have money to face medical experiences. Um, my expectation, is there a possibility that Latinos with Cobby 19 will be playing in hospitals without him? So let me say a couple of things about access to care, and I think Cove in 19 is shining a light on ongoing, uh, inequities that we have seen in our state and in our country for unfortunately, a long time We know that there is, ah, higher uninsured rate amongst those in our Latin X and Hispanic communities amongst our African American communities. And unfortunately, North Carolina has not taking the step forward to expand Medicaid. We know that expanding Medicaid could have gotten 500,000 people access to insurance coverage, and we do not have that tool here. And that is unfortunate. We were going to continue the governor and I to work with the General Assembly and try to help everyone understand why that's such an important tool. Now, more than ever tohave here for our state, we need to get people access to insurance coverage. It's something we I've talked about well before Cove in 19. But now, in the middle of a crisis, we need that tool, even Mawr. Not only do we need it so people can access the testing in the care if they get sick, but we know covert 19 can be more serious if people's underlying health conditions are not taking care of. So if they have diabetes and it's not under control, they have high blood pressure, not under control. Asthma. We know that those are things that are gonna impact someone's ability to fight Off Cove in 19. So insurance actions Incredibly important. But we don't have that tool here. So what are we going to do about it? We're going to use all the other tools at our disposal, whether it's some one time money that we're allowed to use related to getting testing and access to care. Um, through cares dollars, federal dollars and state allocation of those dollars. But there's a lot more that we need to do here not just for Cove in 19 but to make sure that folks have access to care. Regardless, I want to make sure our other guests have have a chance to weigh in. I don't know if Dr Martinez beyonc, but I know others would want it say something about the importance of access to care, particularly during this crisis. Thanks. Thank you, Dr Cohen, for your for allowing me to make another comment. I think there is also an important thing. If I had the opportunity to speak to health systems in general, and most of the planning that I have seen around Cove in 19 has center on and this is all over the country has centered in the intensive care unit in the number of respirators, and we have forgotten that it could that that coronavirus 19 the covert 19 is a community illness that is spreading in the community. And there needs to be a plan that actually gets the care into the community. Where the communities leaving When you when we look at mapping Zoff where the the test centers are, they tend to be in the most African community is the most affluent neighborhoods or off a certain city, forgetting those areas off the city where people really need more access. I have talked to patients of mine that we'll need three buses to get to a drive through, and then the drive thru needed a car so they wouldn't be able to get to the test in the car. Even when you testing sites came in through, ah, corporate pharmacies. They also were located not in the areas where these more vulnerable communities leave. So there is a really important moment toe actually implement targeted testing in the areas where we're seeing outbreaks so that we could actually really see where is it happening. We have the opportunity to do targeted mobile testing, taking a van on a group of people who are trained to do the testing and get in the whole neighborhood community, a church community of faith based community or whoever seeing that there is an uptick off the virus. And then there is a need for respiratory centers and places off access to the care that a closer to the community, our further early qualified health centers are being overwhelmed to provide the care off people who also have lost jobs and have lost insurance. And so we really have to think of this as a multi sector collaboration and multi sector partnership that really gets us all together, prevents yourself. And like Millar said, the doctor called and said, We have to really get all of us together to get the test in closer so those communities are being more affected to get the care closer to the community, in centers that are within the neighborhood so that they can access and get the care they need. Thank you, thank you. And I think also it is very important to have culturally appropriate services for the community that they can really access to it and have people they can trust s so they can really take advantage of worries out there. Because we see they were testing. Sometimes they are asking for ideas. So you have to go to a website, fill out a form on the computer. And that's not something that is helping our community. So we need to really be careful about giving the possibilities the access to healthcare, but also to culturally appropriate access to healthcare. Great. Well, thank you, Pilar. Thank you, Dr Martinez. Beyonc. And for who? Benicio. Thank you for joining for this very special discussion today and a focus on activities in our Latin X Hispanic communities. But I want to just end remind everyone that it is all of our actions that help all North Carolinians to be safe and healthy. I want to remind you that the requirement for face coverings does go into effect today. I hope that you didn't wait for today and the requirement and that you were already putting this in your purse or your pocket or your car. And when you're grabbing your keys, you're grabbing a face covering and that you're wearing it every time. Because the science shows that it really? Onley really works to slow the spread of the virus. If we all do this together remembers, North Carolinians were strong. We will get through this. We are resilient and will care for each other. Thank you and have a good weekend.