MSDH working hard to include minority communities during COVID-19 pandemic

MSDH working hard to include minority communities during COVID-19 pandemic

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With efforts to include minority communities during the pandemic, Mississippi State Department of Health set up a free COVID-19 testing center at the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple on Sunday.

“It was really important for us to find and try to create more access to our minority community across the state,” said Director of Health Equity, Chigozie Udemgba. “Especially here on the Coast- to make sure they have access to testing.”

MSDH said this testing site was their way to help break barriers and bring resources to the doorsteps for those who may didn’t have access before.

“Having someone speak their language, which is important when you’re working with a foreign a community, an immigrant community,” MSDH Language Accent Director, Selma Alford said. “It’s extremely important because the knowledge of being able to relate what you feel.”

Udemgba said COVID-19 cases in the Asian population has been low but that has a lot to do with testing. The state hopes to see more minorities get tested to have a more accurate count of positive COVID cases.

“We haven’t seen a major rate of new infections compared to some of our some of our African American populations, our Hispanic populations and our Native American populations,” Udemgba said. “But it’s also important that we try to make the final ways they have access to testing.”

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