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The COVID-19 Response in Immokalee

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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.

Guests:

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.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.
Andrea Perdomo is a reporter for WGCU News. She started her career in public radio as an intern for the Miami-based NPR station, WLRN. Andrea graduated from Florida International University, where she was a contributing writer for the student-run newspaper, The Panther Press, and was also a member of the university's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.