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COVID-19 concerns, cases rising in minority communities like Frenchtown

Posted at 7:57 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 19:57:03-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — As COVID-19 spreads, startling trends show the virus is affecting minority communities at an alarming rate.

In Frenchtown, community members are stepping up to help out.

The help is desperately needed in neighborhoods like Frenchtown and Tallahassee Southside.

People living there say, when it comes to getting their hands on a mask or even a test it's a gamble. As cases rise, so do the stakes.

"It's like flipping a coin," said Kendrick Ash, who lives in Frenchtown. "Heads or tails."

Health concerns are mounting in neighborhoods like Frenchtown and Bond as positive cases of COVID-19 rise.

52 people have tested positive in Frenchtown, one of Florida's lowest income neighborhoods.

"The virus knows no color, no race," said Jeanee Freeman, the CEO of Neighborhood Medical Center. "But right now, its a fact that minorities have high rates of chronic diseases. When that happens, patients have those underlying conditions and it exacerbates the virus."

Many who live there don't have health insurance.

Healthcare providers in the area are few and far between, but they do have Neighborhood Medical Center.

"When people are coming here, we're able to educate them, their family members and let them know it means for their life," Freeman said. "Especially if they've been exposed to the virus."

"It's getting more serious," said Ash. "People are dying now."

From tele-health visits to testing for the predominantly African American communities, the center is doing its best to fill the void for those who need it most.

"The sad part is that the demand outweighs the supply of tests right now," said Freeman.

People in neighborhoods like Frenchtown say they appreciate every bit of help to keep the community safe.

Capital City Chamber of Commerce is working with Masks for Tally to continue to equip neighbors with much needed masks.