North Charleston works with Hispanic community after recent surge in COVID-19 cases

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of North Charleston is passing out nearly 25,000 masks today as part of their initiative to teach people the importance of wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of people that came up during a press conference at North Charleston City Hall on June 29 were the Hispanic community.

A recent report showed that around 33% of COVID-19 inpatients at Trident Health were Hispanic, which opened up the eyes of many.

Lydia Cotton, a city volunteer and spokesperson for the Hispanic community, says people were shocked to see that number and that it’s important for the city to reach out to Hispanics and provide them with the information that can help keep them safe during this time.

She says that there were a number of Hispanic volunteers that worked with North Charleston Police Officers and helped pass out face masks.

Teamwork between both Hispanics and city officials is what Cotton believes can help strengthen the relationship between the two groups and allow it continue to grow.

The desire for the community to continue being informed extends into the community as Leidy Cobena shares her and her family’s experience with COVID-19.

Leidy, her sister, and her parents have all tested positive for COVID-19 and she says that they were on top of wearing masks, disinfecting their areas at work, and having hand sanitizer everywhere, but believes that he one time her sister didn’t wear a mask may have led to her exposure.

“That week is the one week that she forgot to wear a mask one day and [she] went to eat inside of a restaurant one day and so it’s like the one day that she decided to that it seems to the be the one day she probably got exposed to it.”

Leidy Cobena

Leidy urged for everyone to wear a mask, stay six feet apart and to follow all CDC guidelines, so that everyone can be safe.

Lydia Cotton wants to take the same information that Leidy shared and pass it on to the entire Hispanic community, but she believes that, in order to make this happen, communication is key.

“Langauage…we need a translation, we need information flyers in Spanish. We need a website, at least one page, just in Spanish.”

Lydia Cotton

Lydia hopes Hispanics in the area continue to keep working together, not only amongst themselves, but with the city so that everyone can be as safe as possible from the virus.

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