BALTIMORE (WJZ) – On Friday, Baltimore officials announced a new initiative to help Latinx families in the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19: Prevention, Control, and Support initiative will take a number of steps to help prevent the virus from spreading into families who do not have English as a primary language, including improving bilingual messaging efforts and recruiting community members to teach their neighbors in difficult situations -hit areas and help connect people with health and financial resources.
COVID-19 cases are disproportionately high in Latinx communities, accounting for 15% of all cases but only 5% of the city's population.
During a press conference Friday afternoon, Mayor Brandon Scott said the city saw 28,848 COVID-19 cases and 586 deaths on Thursday. Hospitals are 86% busy.
Scott's remarks came hours after the Restaurant Association of Maryland announced it was seeking legal action against the city and two counties for indoor and outdoor dining restrictions.
Earlier this month, on his first full day in office, Scott announced a series of new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, including closing indoor and outdoor restaurants. These rules took effect at 5:00 p.m. on December 11th.
Officials at multiple levels have urged people to stay home during the holidays to avoid the spread of the virus, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa, on Friday.
"Not feeling sick is not a good reason to put your family at risk," she said during the press conference.
Watch the full press conference below:
For the latest information on coronavirus, visit the Maryland Health Department website or call 211. All WJZ coverage of coronavirus in Maryland is here.