Brooklyn Park Council Member Calls for More COVID-19 Testing in Immigrant Communities
Brooklyn Park City Council member Wynfred Russell is calling for more testing and more resources for immigrant communities in the northwest suburbs. Russell pointed recent studies showing COVID-19 disproportionately impacting people of color and immigrants.
The council member referenced data from the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Department of Health, and another study from the Family Housing Fund and Wilder Foundation which indicate certain ZIP codes in the northwest metro are facing housing instability because of the pandemic.
“There’s a huge disparity. So [my constituents and I] are calling for MDH to work more with local community organizations and, of course, with local governments to make testing and more resources available,” said Russell.
Russell: Immigrants Work in Jobs at Higher Risk for COVID-19
Russell says many of the residents in his district live in apartment buildings or live in multi-generational homes. He also says a large number of immigrants work at long-term care facilities, putting them more at risk for getting COVID-19.
“When they are exposed to COVID-19 and get infected, they come back into the community and affect folks into the community,” said Russell. “If we don’t handle this robustly, we could have a worse situation on our hands with a lot more people being infected.”
Russell says when he uses “we” to refer to the community.
Russell hasn’t brought the matter to the city council yet, but he’s calling on public officials to provide more resources when it comes to housing and food because so many people are out of work due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Hennepin Healthcare Brooklyn Park Clinic opened its testing center about 16 weeks ago. They are located at the intersection of Zane Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard.