Veronica Salcedo, a journalist with Nashville Noticias, distributes personal protective gear at a drive up event. (Photo: Dulce Torres Guzman/Tennessee Lookout)
Hispanic residents make up 19.2 % of Nashville’s current 4,218 COVID-19 cases, Fabian Bedne, a staff member in Mayor John Cooper’s office, reported Tuesday morning.
Nashville has had 21,770 total confirmed cases and 195 fatalities attributed to the novel coronavirus, with 17,357 total counted as recovered. There are 176 active hospitalizations which put hospital capacity at the ‘caution’ level.
Bedne, a native of Argentina, serves as a planner in the mayor’s office of neighborhood development but conducts twice-weekly press conferences in Spanish as part of efforts to reach the hard-hit Hispanic community.
He says 40.4% of COVID-19 CASES remain pending on ethnicity but are likely Hispanic.
Heat maps continue to center on Southeast and Central Nashville with recent attention focused on a party occurring over the weekend in East Nashville.
Reports of 300 partygoers at the Fern Avenue location occurred on Saturday night despite gatherings of more than 25 people being prohibited. Videos and photos taken at the party showed attendees not following social distancing guidelines or wearing masks. Metro is currently looking into imposing 30-day jail sentences on those found guilty of breaking health ordinances, which is classified as a Class C misdemeanor.
Due to high numbers of hospitalizations, experts are asking individuals in the high-risk category to look into acquiring oxygen measuring devices in order to detect hypoxia – a severe COVID symptom – and seek medical attention to avoid hospitalization.
Bedne addressed those who believe they have a medical reason for not wearing a mask. If individuals cannot wear a mask, said Bedne, they should consider themselves as high risk and stay home. These individuals should not go out without a mask, said Bedne.
“Let’s not be irresponsible,” said Bedne.
Metro Council will vote Tuesday night on whether $1,244,000 of CARES Act funds will go to United Way of Middle Tennessee
to distribute for COVID-19 Pandemic response-related purposes. The resolution affects the Hispanic population since applications for financial support will be prohibited from asking for a social security number and therefore provide relief for undocumented families.
Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda addresses the resolution in a newsletter that funds will primarily go towards rent, mortgage and utility relief.
“This will also allow us to make sure that specific communities who have been disproportionately impacted are receiving support,” wrote Sepulveda.
Bedne reports a need for a regional COVID-19 protocol in order to tamp down the high infection rates affecting Nashville.
If people stayed home, businesses would be able to open, said Bedne in response to complaints from business owners.
Bedne also addressed rumors that those receiving the added benefits in unemployment are the same individuals who continue to break health regulations due to their desire to continue the pandemic and keep receiving the benefits.
“That’s a vision from very negative people,” said Bedne, adding that those benefits are to encourage people to stay home.
“We are all making sacrifices together so that we can recuperate quickly,” said Bedne.
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