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Immokalee quickly becoming the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in SWFL

Video Credit: FOX 4 Now Florida - Duration: 02:43s - Published
Immokalee quickly becoming the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in SWFL
Immokalee quickly becoming the epicenter of COVID-19 cases in SWFL
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AS WE SHOWED YOU AT THE TOP OFTHE SHOW... COLLIER COUNTY HAD ALARGE SPIKE IN CORONAVIRUS CASESOVER THE WEEKEND... ANDIMMOKALEE... HAS QUICKLY BECOMETHE EPICENTER FOR THE COVID-19OUTBREAK IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA.WITH HUNDREDS OF NEW CASESREPORTED THERE IN THE PASTMONTH... FARM WORKERS ANDDOCTORS ARE PUTTING OUT A CALLFOR HELP.FOUR IN YOUR CORNER’S ROB MANCHHAS THE DETAILS.

ROB?INTRO:Immokalee is a city of under 30thousand people, but right now,it has more confirmed COVID-19cases than Fort Lauderdale.And with that number continuingto go up, one doctor I spokewith says the state needs toact, and fast.PK"We are seeing alarming signsthat this is leading to thesecond wave."Dr. Seth Holmes is a medicalanthropologist at U-C BerkeleyHe came to Immokalee a month agowhen testing was first beingmade available."We need farm workers to beable to provide us with food.

Weneed to protect them."Since Dr. Holmes arrived, thecases have continued to risedramatically.Gerardo Chavez, Coalition ofImmokalee Workers:"There was a spike of almost 4cases from one day to the next,and that is in the context ofvery limited access to tests."Gerardo Chavez is with theCoalition of Immokalee Workers.He says, while a rise in caseswas expected after thedepartment of health providedfree testing, there’s anotherreason why Immokalee is the onlyarea in southwest Florida thatis showing up in red on the DOHwebsite."This is not something thathappened just because.

Ithappened because people thereare poor, they live overcrowdeThey travel to work under novery safe conditions many times.And that makes them the perfectplace for COVID-19 to spread."But while people in Immokaleeare much more susceptible, theyalso have much less access totesting.While there were only three daysof walk-up testing here over inLee County, there has been freedrive up testing every day forweeks at CenturyLink Stadium.Dr. Seth Holmes, UNC Berkeley:"We need something like freetesting for everyone, everyday,and it needs to be open late, itneeds to be done in a way thateveryone feels comfortablegoing."Dr. Holmes says, he was planningto leave at the end of May, butwith the situation in Immokaleegetting worse, he’s changed hisplan"Right now, it doesn’t feellike it’s under control, itfeels like it’s out of control,and so it doesn’t feel like Ishould leave yet."TAG:I did reach out to thedepartment of health today tosee if they have plans foranother walk-up testing site inthe future, but I did not





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