The COVID-19 Response in Immokalee
When the COVID-19 outbreak began to spread in Florida, community leaders in the small farmworker town of Immokalee, as well as health officials and representatives of Collier County government, began participating in a bi-weekly conference call about what was happening in Immokalee, and what steps should be taken to mitigate an outbreak there.
Health officials have warned that farmworkers are at a high risk from the new coronavirus because of crowded living and working conditions, and because they often have co-morbid conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Residents of Immokalee now account for about 40% of the total number of COVID-19 cases in Collier County, but they represent less than 10% of the overall population in the county.
We are getting an update on the Immokalee Covid-19 response from some of the people who have been on those conference calls, and have been working within the community throughout the pandemic.
- Kristine Hollingsworth, public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Collier County.
- Dawn Montecalvo, President of the Guadalupe Center.
- Frank Rincon, founder of the Benison Center.
- Julia Perkins, community liaison with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
- Bill McDaniel, Collier County Commissioner whose district includes the town of Immokalee.
We’re also joined in studio today by WGCU reporter Andrea Perdomo, who has been sitting in on the bi-weekly calls since they began.