The Orange County Human Rights and Relations (OCHRR) and the Orange County Health Department (OCHD) have launched a video series called “Cafecitos con el Condado de Orange” (Coffee with Orange County) to help address the concerns and questions about COVID-19 posed by the Hispanic Community in Orange County, NC.
Early in the pandemic it quickly became clear that marginalized communities were being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 virus, in particular the Hispanic/Latinx community. In response to this urgent need a Latinx Equity group began meeting weekly, hosted by Susan Clifford of OCHRR. The group includes attendees from various organizations from within the county and the state that identify as Hispanic/Latinx and are deeply involved with the Hispanic community. Topics have included health, housing, food scarcity, school closing, the challenges of virtual learning, and much more.
In addition to sharing resources, the Latinx Equity group also collaborates on messaging that is tailored to the Hispanic community. The “Cafecitos con el Condado de Orange” video series aims to address the questions and concerns of the Hispanic community in each episode. The first episode addresses fears expressed by the Hispanic community about a lack of trust in government entities, workplaces and other institutions. Pilar Rocha-Goldberg from El Centro Hispano led a conversation with Deacon Luis Royo of St. Thomas More Catholic Church; Antonia Cortes Sanchez with OCHD’s Family Success Alliance and Marlyn Valeiko from OCHRR.
The second episode addresses the realities of COVID-19 and the disparities seen in the Hispanic community. During the discussion, myths are dispelled, and best practices are shared as they relate to the virus, the health care system, and what practical steps folks can take during the holiday season to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy. Ana Salas from the Orange County Health Department led the conversation with Dr. Marco Alemán from UNC; Norma Martí from NCDHHS; and Olivia Moreno from El Centro Hispano.
“We have seen a disproportionally high number of positive COVID-19 cases within the Hispanic community.” Health Director Quintana Stewart shares. “At one point in July, the Hispanic community comprised 33% of COVID positive cases in Orange County, while they only represent 9% of the general population. Fortunately, over the last few months we have seen that percentage decrease to 21%. Although still disproportionally high, we are pleased with this downward trend and commend the community for following the 3 W’s, or “3 M’s” as we call them in Spanish.”
Please visit the Cafecitos webpage at https://www.orangecountync.gov/2582/Cafecitos
For the latest information and guidance relating to Orange County’s COVID-19 response: