Free masks, voter registration help offered to Latinx communities

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- More than a dozen people gathered in a Spanish speaking community on Durham's End Street on Saturday for the distribution of free face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"We just recently found out that the percentage of Latinos in the county, in Durham County is only 13 percent," said Maria Lopez of Siembra NC. "But the number of people affected jumped from 30 percent to over 60 percent in the month of June."

RELATED: Latinos disproportionately account for COVID-19 cases in North Carolina

Among the most at-risk are factory and restaurant workers, organizers tell us.

"They're not getting masks. A couple of weeks ago we were doing another mask distribution," Lopez said. "In Raleigh, in front of a grocery store, and there were so many people there with no masks on. "

The organizers combined mask distribution with a voter registration drive.

"This is a really important election year, a lot of the devastation we've seen, the impact on the Latino community, COVID-9, is due to the government's lack of response," Lopez said. So they included instructions, in Spanish, to help people understand how to protect themselves if there's no advocate available.

Those of you who missed the Saturday event and still need masks or voter registration assistance have another opportunity.

"If you go to Siembra North Carolina, look for us there, you can find out our next distribution dates," Lopez said.
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