CDC leaves Northwest Arkansas after three weeks


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Centers for Disease Control team is leaving Northwest Arkansas today (July 4).

The CDC’s Arkansas field team spent about three weeks helping the Arkansas Department of Health figure out why COVID-19 was spreading so quickly in the Latinx and Marshallese communities.

During that time, they deployed teams of people like behavioral scientists and epidemiologists as well as met with community leaders and conducted focus groups.

“We are here to help, we’re here to serve, and we are very happy that we’re able to do that,” said Angela Hernandez, CDC Arkansas field team lead.

First, she said the CDC focused on gathering and analyzing data, looking at who were the key informants and community leaders. They conducted focus groups with youth and adults.

All of the information gathered in the groups will give them a better understanding of the whole picture to put together a set of recommendations for ADH.

Hernandez said there were language & cultural barriers among several communities the ADH wanted to understand. She said they focused on getting community input to understand the community spread.

She said they learned from the community about their ways of life, occupations, access to testing, and access and support in isolation and quarantine.

Hernandez emphasized that the best measure is prevention which starts with each individual wearing a mask in combination with social distancing and frequently washing hands.

Hernandez said the CDC is wrapping up its reports and will give the ADH its recommendations some time next week.

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