Where officials are seeing increases in COVID-19 cases

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Zip code 37407 encompasses an area of southern Hamilton County touching the Georgia state line.

It’s this section, Hamilton County Health Department Officials said is seeing a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

“This does not mean people in 37407 should be in fear. It means that they should wear a mask and practice the social distancing when they go out as we have asked everyone to do,” Hamilton County Health Administrator Becky Barnes said.

East Lake is one of the neighborhoods in that area.

East Lake Neighborhood Association President Linda Richards explained her concerns.

“Staying informed, keeping the neighborhood informed about what’s going on, and the other concern is having access to testing and healthcare, being able to get access to healthcare,” Richards said.

Community members described the area as diverse.

In general, people from all kinds of groups have not been immune to the virus.

The Hamilton County Health Department breaks down reported positive case numbers with many of the cases in the Hispanic population.

“It’s a bit of a catch-22, right. It’s unfortunate that the numbers have increased, but it’s fortunate that the information about testing available is reaching the community,” La Paz Chattanooga Communications Coordinator Lily Sanchez said.

La Paz Chattanooga has been reaching out to the Latino and Hispanic communities through social media, their clientele and Spanish radios.

Sanchez said the number of Hispanic cases could come from more testing, but also from the way the families live.

“Many of them have larger families or live in multi-family homes. Many of them work essential jobs and so it’s just a matter of out of necessity they may not be able to take the same measures that other residents in the area are able to make,” she said.

“We as a whole, city and region need to maybe perhaps need to reassess and ensure that employers who are employing essential workers are taking the necessary steps within their own entities to ensure that their employees are working in safe conditions and are empowered with the information.”

Barnes said the recent increasing numbers of cases have followed the same trend they’ve seen over a week and a half: cases linked to workplaces and spread within families.

The following resources have been implemented by La Paz:

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