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Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy Calls on Gov. Northam to Ensure Greater Outreach Amid Disparate COVID-19 Outcomes for Latinx Communities

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See below for a press release from the Jennifer Carroll Foy for Governor campaign. Also, see here for more background on this important subject.

DEL. CARROLL FOY CALLS ON GOV. NORTHAM TO ENSURE GREATER OUTREACH AMID DISPARATE COVID-19 OUTCOMES FOR LATINX COMMUNITIES

Additional protections for Latinx and undocumented families

(Woodbridge, VA) – Today, in response to alarming, disparate COVID-19 outcomes for Virginia’s Latinx community, Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, called on Governor Ralph Northam to ensure broader outreach to Latinx families so they can get the testing and care they need. Specifically, Carroll Foy called on Northam to increase federal funding allocated for impacted renters and homeowners, as well as broader outreach on Spanish-language radio and television in the Commonwealth. These measures would ensure that Latinx and undocumented families can access the resources needed to safely navigate this unprecedented pandemic.

“The disparities in health outcomes in the Latinx community stem largely from longstanding and systemic factors, such as disparate access to information, testing, and treatment. ” said Del. Carroll Foy. “This unprecedented time continues to require swift and coordinated responses to ensure the health and well-being of all Virginians, no matter their background or income level. We must continue to champion innovative and bold solutions to meet the needs of the residents of the Commonwealth.”

The full text of the letter is below and attached:

July 6th, 2020

Dear Governor Northam:

I want to thank you for your continued efforts to support impacted communities during this novel pandemic. As you know, Latinx communities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 outcomes. I am writing today to escalate the health inequities faced by Latinx communities. According to the data, Latinx persons make up 45 percent of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Virginia, a rate more than three times their share of the population. The percentages are even higher in certain areas, such as Fairfax County and Prince William County, which report nearly 60% shares of confirmed cases. Additionally, many community leaders have voiced concern that undocumented immigrants are not seeking care for fear of being deported, leading to significant underreporting in COVID-19 cases.

The disparities in health outcomes stem largely from longstanding and systemic factors. It is vital that we continue to address the distinct challenges of vulnerable communities, such as disparate access to information, testing, and treatment. These challenges are exacerbated by a language barrier. While I commend the current availability of translated materials, I am very concerned that they are not reaching the communities that need them most. Thus, I write to request increased funding for outreach on Spanish-language radio, television, and some internet sites. Additionally, I ask that you ensure that 45 percent of contact tracers are bilingual. Partnering with local non-profit organizations can ensure that this requirement is met. I commend the Administration for already involving CASA in community outreach endeavors and encourage you to expand on this success with other organizations that are providing individual case management to Latinx and other immigrant families like Edu-Futuro.

Another barrier faced by marginalized communities includes the lack of access to federal funding, especially for those seeking relief in light of housing insecurity. I applaud your response in directing Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Lemons to establish a statewide moratorium on all eviction proceedings, and in directing 50 million dollars in federal funding to help impacted Virginians pay their rent and mortgages. I also ask that you ensure that the alloted funding be accessible to those with nontraditional circumstances, such as subleasing, and to undocumented immigrants who often reside in multigenerational and multi-family homes. The Rent Relief Program guidelines place barriers to access for nontraditional renters and lack clarity on immigration status.

This unprecedented time continues to require swift and coordinated responses to ensure the health and well-being of all Virginians, no matter their background or income level. We must continue to champion innovative and bold solutions to meet the needs of the residents of the Commonwealth.

I hope that you will strongly consider this request.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Carroll Foy,  Member, House of Delegates , 2nd District

CC:

Paul Berry, Chair, Virginia Latino Advisory Board

Luis Angel Aguilar, CASA

Jorge Figueredo, Edu-Futuro