PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Wednesday evening Representative Lois Frankel discussed with local community leaders on COVID-19 hot spots across Palm Beach County.
"Really to talk and see what else we need to do to try to help the health department contain this virus in this population," Frankel said.
The hot spots for the COVID-19 infections are in Lake Worth, Palm Springs, Greenacres, and Belle Glade. The largest group of people impacted is immigrant populations in those cities.
"We are a hot spot right now. The good news is that we're testing a lot," Lake Worth Beach Mayor Pam Triolo said.
Daniel Morgan is a case manager with the Guatemalan Mayan Center in Lake Worth Beach. He said Palm Beach County has the 5th largest Guatemalan population in the United States and one hard hit by COVID-19. Morgan said to understand why Lake Worth Beach is a hot spot you first must understand living conditions.
"When they contact you telling you that you are infected with COVID-19 they ask you to go into quarantine. But they don't ask you how many people are living in your home. They don't understand for many indigenous migrants there are two to three families in one home," Morgan said.
He said for many, two weeks of quarantine means a struggle to put food on the table.
Four testing sites set up throughout Lake Worth Beach have enabled more than one-thousand people to be tested.
"They did it at an hour that was convenient for a worker getting off of work around four or five O'clock. The testing sites have been from 4 to 8 on a Saturday," Morgan said.
What was made clear during the meeting was that hospitals are saying the number of COVID-19 infections has risen.
"It's not just because we're increasing testing that we're seeing more cases, the transmission is happening," Dr. Rik Pavlescak said.