Latino community in Montgomery County disproportionately affected by COVID-19

According to new data from the Montgomery County Health Department, 74 percent of the more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases in June was in the Latino community. 

In response, the Montgomery County Council introduced a health regulation Tuesday to create more testing sites and contact tracing. 

District 4 Councilmember Nancy Navarro tells FOX 5, “For many of us, it was absolutely devastating after months of weekly meetings of proposing specific strategies. We know that if one community is disproportionately affected it’s going to have an impact on the entire jurisdiction.”

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Elizabeth de Garcia says she lives in the Cider Mill apartment complex in Montgomery Village and knows of numerous COVID-19 cases, including some in her own family. She says even more people have symptoms and are not being tested.

There is fear over the cost of testing and doctors visits, and some fear it could hurt their chance for citizenship. 

The group Action in Montgomery is calling for free COVID-19 testing outside of local churches and places that would be easily accessible for people with limited transportation. 

County Executive Marc Elrich says he is expanding testing in communities of color, including pop-up testing sites in some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

The County Council will introduce a larger resolution next week to provide more resources.