BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — Governor Greg Abbott is calling for the state to ramp up coronavirus testing in areas that are predominately Black and Hispanic after state lawmakers have pushed for greater transparency on racial data.
Brazos County continues to report significant increases in COVID-19 cases. The jump in numbers comes when state lawmakers are asking for greater transparency. As testing has increased, Brazos County Alternate Health Authority, Dr. Seth Sullivan, says the Hispanic population has been the demographic seeing the most COVID-19 cases.
"The last time I looked it might have been more than 50 percent of our cases were in the Hispanic community," said Dr. Sullivan in Monday's press conference.
Minorities in the Brazos Valley hold many essential jobs and more free testing sites have made testing more accessible for Hispanics and African Americans.
"Many in our Hispanic community have continued to be in the essential worker category and coming back to often crowded conditions and that is a huge challenge,"says Dr. Sullivan.
Mayor Andrew Nelson says that the City of Bryan is engaging more with the Hispanic community using public service announcements, as the city works on providing accurate data and assistance.
“We’ve asked other people in the Hispanic community to help us to really spread the word to make people understand the things they need to do to minimize the spread of the coronavirus,” Mayor Nelson said.
And monitoring the spread of the coronavirus means paying attention to the number of hospitalizations.
“For me, I look at a few key factors how many intensive care unit beds which require specialized nursing care how many require that in our community of the people who are contracting the virus,” says Mayor Nelson.