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Weeks after creating an online petition, workers in Immokalee are finally getting COVID-19 testing

Weeks after an online campaign urging action from the state, workers in Immokalee are finally getting testing
Posted at 8:58 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 20:58:37-04

IMMOKALEE — People who live in Immokalee, including many migrant farm workers, are finally getting the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 this weekend.

An online petition has been calling for this since April 1st. That’s when the Coalition of Immokalee Workers put out a call to action on Change.org. It said workers live in close quarters, and are susceptible to spreading the disease. Now, 28 days and more than 37,000 signatures later, the state says it’s stepping in to help.

“We have been working with our community partners, as well as the coalition, and we have heard the needs of the community," said Department of Health Spokeswoman Kristine Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth said the new mobile station will be operated by the National Guard, and will make testing as easy as possible.

“Residents can walk up, they don’t have to be symptomatic, there is no requirement of a doctor’s note or referral, and they can come to the department of health and get tested," said Hollingsworth.

And the department is also doing a lot to get the word out, because not everyone speaks English, or owns a computer.

“We have translated fliers, handouts, we have information on the radio and through PSA’s. We have a 35-foot box truck that drives through the community spreading COVID-19 information," said Hollingsworth.

The testing will begin this Sunday starting at 11 a.m at the Department of Health building in Immokalee. The department says it is required that you have a face mask of some kind, so if you’re not wearing one, one will be provided for you.