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Immokalee shows spike in positive coronavirus cases

Testing sites are seeing a spike in positive coronavirus cases. And one testing site in Southwest Florida in particular is reportedly seeing an uptick in confirmed cases.

Immokalee COVID-19 testing sites saw about another 200 cases in just a week, we learned Monday.

Credit: Shared with WINK News.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers said, following three days of mass testing two weeks ago, it’s now seeing numbers shoot up, and the coalition’s main concern are the farmworkers.

“Farmworkers are more relevant to this city … because, if it weren’t for them, none of this place would be going,” said a resident who wanted to remain anonymous.

Credit: Shared with WINK News.

And the community is worried for them too. The red spots on the map show Immokalee is currently a hot spot.

“What is it like, 10 to a trailer or a house?” said Nole Puente in Immokalee. “That’s what they live in, and that’s what they have.”

With farmworkers always working in groups of people, the virus spreads quickly. The graph shows that the number of positive cases in Immokalee has shot up by hundreds in just a week – and that’s not the only concern.

“Right now, in our community, there are a lot of workers that are leaving and heading up north to follow the harvest,” said Lupe Gonzalo, the coalition’s organizer. Gonzalo spoke to WINK News alongside translator Natali Rodriguez. “And so the last thing we want is for those workers who are sick to continue traveling north to other places and transmit the disease.”

Doctors Without Borders is stationed in Immokalee to help out with testing. It’s asking for more resources too.

“We want to ask for tests that are accessible to the community, that are readily available, that they can get to and with that to see more of the situation in the community,” Gonzalo said.

Immokalee residents agree.

“There’s not a lot of people that can get tested, you know?” Puente said. “A lot of these people, you know, they live from paycheck to paycheck, and they don’t have a lot.”

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers said the community can help while it tries to get more testing by continuing to wear their masks and maintain social distancing.

“The upper class, they have the money and the resources, and they have no problems,” a resident said. “It’s us that have the issues because we don’t have the resources or the money or the testing that we need.”

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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