SAN JOSE, California (KRON) – COVID-19 test rates are rising rapidly across Santa Clara County – well above the state median.
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The county has since launched a door-to-door testing initiative to stop the virus from spreading in communities like East San Jose, where the positivity rate is well above the county average.
“As we all know, the situation with COVID-19 is dire and it has been an urgent priority to work closely with our community leaders to address the myriad of challenges and obstacles associated with COVID,” said Dr. Analilia Garcia, Santa Clara County Director of Racial and Health Justice.
“There have been inequalities, ingrained inequalities and challenges for our Latinx families in East San Jose as an example, but more broadly, many families in our county and region face obstacles and challenges,” added Garcia.
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“Not just for testing and information, but just about the economic impact of COVID.”
Working with community organizations and leaders, the program offers free self-management tests with nasal swabs.
The program is focused on neighborhoods in East San Jose where government officials say 55% of the Latinx population has difficulty accessing COVID-19 tests.
“With this intervention, it was really important that we address the fear, suspicion and misinformation that exists in all things COVID-related,” Garcia said.
“What happens when I’m positive? That’s a big question we get … which then creates a lot of emotions, fears and fears related to COVID. ”
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In Santa Clara County, the Latinx community is severely affected, accounting for 55.4% of all COVID-19 cases, while it only accounts for 25.7% of the total county’s population.
Currently, the county is seeing sharp increases in some cases, and as of Wednesday only 12% of the county’s intensive care units will be available – nearly 40% of the intensive care beds occupied for COVID-19 patients.
Mujeres Empresarias community leaders Tomando Accion (META) and SOMOS Mayfair led the initiative – they went to communities where they have close relationships – to get as many people tested as possible.
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“We launched the door-to-door test intervention last Thursday. We are looking for a pilot for the next month to better understand the implications and better understand the lessons of this very important work,” said Garcia.
“That will then inform about how we scale, how we expand and, most importantly, how we do this work.”