ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Members of the Latino community are asking for Orange County press conferences related to COVID-19 to be translated fully in Spanish in real-time to reach the Latino community.
"I would like to see our Hispanic Orange County residents to have the same access to information as our non-Hispanic residents," Father Jose Rodriguez said.
Father Rodriguez is asking for Orange County press conferences to be said in fully English and Spanish to reach the Latino community.
One out of every four people infected with COVID-19 in Florida is Hispanic.
"We are getting hit hard and that means that we need the information," Rodriguez said.
Orange County press conferences are in English, but Dr. Raul Pino and others are available to answer questions in Spanish during press conferences.
"Key takeaways" from press conferences are translated in Spanish and can be found on Orange County's website afterward.
The county also has a Spanish-speaking liaison in the mayor’s office who sends news conference recaps in Spanish to key community groups.
"After any one of these press conferences, we redact what is being said here and we post it in Spanish," Mayor Jerry Demings said in a press conference. "We have a number of communications that go out that way."
The county also uses social media to reach out to the Latino community and is currently looking at potentially doing real-time sub-caption translations.
"That’s helpful, but again, why can’t they just put a Spanish speaker behind the microphone," Rodriguez said. "They know the remarks. Do the same press conference in Spanish."
In Osceola County, officials conduct their press conferences first in English and then again in Spanish in its entirety.
It's something the Latino community would like to see in Orange County, too.
"The infections are very high in the Latino community," Rodriguez said. "Now, it is not the time to skimp on information."