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Representative Lois Frankel hosts roundtable with local mayors on impact of coronavirus

Posted at 4:26 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 23:18:24-04

Tuesday morning Representative Lois Frankel hosted a roundtable via Zoom with a few Palm Beach County mayors.

They brought up several topics, from testing sites needed in underserved communities to people struggling to get their unemployment forms filled out online.

Representative Frankel says she will host more roundtable meetings with local mayors to find out what problems need to be addressed because of the pandemic.

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James also shared his concerns during the roundtable discussion. .

"The testing site in our city is pretty far away from some of the underserved communities. We don't know if transportation is an issue. So we are looking to have mobile testing sites go to those particular neighborhoods. The issue there is having enough testing kits to take to the neighborhoods," said the mayor.

Dr. tiffany McCalla wants to make sure everyone knows the importance to get tested or practice social distancing.

"Some of these things are not new, they are just highlighted now. People who have diabetes or hypertension are at an increased risk to high morbidity with covid," she said.

Dr. Tiffany says mobile test sites and information in several languages could help.

"In order to isolate and treat people, we have to know where they live and where they are going and encourage them to stay home," she added.

Dental hygienist Diane Queller is frustrated. She filed for unemployment a few weeks ago, with no resolution. "It's just totally frustrating I've tried calling the numbers there's three different numbers you can call. I've called them at least 20 to 30 times within the past two hours," she said.

Filing for unemployment was one of the main topics discussed Tuesday during the roundtable discussion.

"I can assure you those of us that signed that letter that we sent last week, and we sent four letters, we will continue with the pressure as much as we can," Frankel said.

Several area leaders were a part of the discussion through Zoom. Among them were West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James who brought up another concern.

"The testing site in our city is pretty far away from the underserved communities. And we don't know if transportation is an issue," he said.

Overtime, hazard pay and helping small businesses stay afloat were also part of the conversation.

Representative Lois Frankel wants to keep the dialogue going and find solutions for the communities.

Meanwhile, the city said it might have an update on the situation by the end of the week.