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Bilingual COVID testing site canceled due to low turnout

The site opened Nov. 24 and was scheduled to operate every Tuesday at the parking lot shared by Lashley Street Station and Centennial Park. It will cease to operate because of low turnout.
2020_11_25_LL_fairgrounds_COVID_test1
Vehicles line up at the free COVID testing site at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (Photo by Macie May)

The COVID-19 testing site at Lashley Street Station providing bilingual support has been canceled. 

The site opened Nov. 24 and was scheduled to operate every Tuesday at the parking lot shared by Lashley Street Station and Centennial Park. It will cease to operate because of low turnout.

City and Boulder County Public Health staff are now strategizing new outreach efforts to support the Latino community, according to an email sent last week.

The site was originally set up to ensure Spanish-speaking community members had access to bilingual staff to explain the testing process and help them access resources.

Carmen Palacios-Ramirez, Longmont Community and Neighborhood Resources manager, said it is important to continue encouraging community members to get tested and to connect them with services. 

“The increase of cases within our Latino community is a concern,” she said. 

As of Thursday, over 36% of Boulder County residents who tested positive or are considered probable for COVID-19 identified themselves as Hispanic or Latinx, and Hispanic or Latinx individuals comprised close to 43% of COVID-related hospitalizations in the county, according to Boulder County Public Health data

Boulder County is not alone in seeing higher infection rates among Latinos. Infections for Hispanic and Native American populations shot up starting in early October, CPR News reported on Nov. 24.

“Now, the seven-day moving average of newly reported coronavirus infections is at 80 cases per 100,000 people for Hispanic residents and more than 60 cases per 100,000 for the American Indian and Alaska Native population. In both cases, the infection rate is more than quadruple what it was two months ago,” CPR News reported.

Free COVID swab testing will continue at the Boulder County Fairgrounds and individuals are encouraged to get tested even if they do not have any symptoms, Palacios-Ramirez said. 

Testing at the fairgrounds is offered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Registration is highly recommended to speed results. 

Latinx and Spanish-speaking community members can access information about rent and utility assistance and other available resources through the city, Palacios-Ramirez said.

Silvia Romero Solís

About the Author: Silvia Romero Solís

Después de viajar por el mundo, Silvia llegó a establecerse en Longmont. Ella busca usar su experiencia en comunicaciones y cultura para crear más equidad y diversidad en las noticias de Longmont.
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