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COVID-19 response in minority communities

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:11 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Doris Edwards, a community activist, said COVID-19 has had a significant impact on African American communities and families across the country.

“There is a special light shining with disparities where COVID is the culprit. However, years and years and years, we have had the same levels of disparity on a daily basis.”

Alachua County Spokesperson Mark Sexton said commissioners and the Department of Health in the county are doing everything they can to ensure no one is left behind.

“We are also concerned about how disproportionately hit the African American, and other minority communities have been. We are in the process now of just redoubling our efforts to make sure that we are not leaving anyone behind in terms of getting this information out. We are going to work with as many sources as we can who can help us with this.”

He said they are focusing on getting out information about the virus and vaccine availability within the county.

“We have begun today planning on reaching out to churches, to non-profit agencies. To all of the different agencies and people, influencers that we can and getting printed material directly to people who perhaps are not seeing their news on tv or the internet.”

Edwards is taking notice of the health department’s effort and the counties and other municipalities when it comes to spreading information in the African American community.

“I feel that the health department and all the other municipalities have spread the word as best as they can spread the word. The responsibility lies on the individual.”

She knows people in her community want to get the vaccine.

“This particular neighborhood, the Lincoln Estate neighborhood, I am so proud to say people want to live. People will get the vaccine. I know that I hear a little buzz that ‘oh the African American,’ you don’t know what the African American people want to do it is an individual decision.”

She said people want the vaccine to live.

“Black people want to live just like everybody else. I have a blended family, so people want to live.”

Sexton said they have been effective in reaching people and vaccinating them.

“The fact is that Alachua county per capita has delivered more vaccines than any other county in the state of Florida.”

Sexton encourages everyone to look at the FAQ’s page on the county’s website. To view that page, click here.

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