/ Modified mar 23, 2020 noon

COVID-19 updates in Spanish? Depends on where you look

The Pima County Health Department is providing Spanish-language materials on testing, isolating and more.

covid-19 testing adhs A March 15 Arizona Department of Health Services photo of COVID-19 tests.
ADHS via Facebook

Editor's note: A March 23 change to this story updates information about the Arizona Department of Health Services Spanish-language resources. A March 20 change to this story updates information about the CDC’s Spanish-language resources and adds information about the city of Tucson.

Usted puede encontrar información en español sobre COVID-19/coronavirus en el sitio del Condado Pima. La información será actualizada diariamente. Para más información, visite el sitio de CDC, o visite el sitio del ADHS.

How are coronavirus updates reaching non-English speakers? That’s one question groups around the country are asking as health information changes quickly.

Southern Arizona is home to many Spanish speakers. But finding information in that language depends on where you look.

As of March 23, the Arizona Department of Health Services website has a COVID-19 page in Spanish. As of March 20, the Centers for Disease Control website had its own Spanish-language page.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released a coronavirus video update in Spanish on March 19. Pima County Health Department’s website has also translated its COVID-19 page.

Aaron Pacheco is a community relations program manager there. He said they’re working to make sure other updates are also bilingual.

“We are actively using social media and trying to make sure as many of the posts and things we’re putting on there are [translated] in Spanish in real time, so that when we post, it’s in both languages,” he said.

Pacheco said the department’s printable COVID-19 materials are available in both languages, and a daily video update is broadcast in English with Spanish subtitles. He said as testing expands, the department is making multilingual pamphlets available so patients who need to get tested can learn how to protect themselves and their families while they wait for the results.

Information is changing quickly, Pacheco said, and updates happening at the state level do not come from his department. In the wake of that uncertainty, he said his team is focused on ensuring the material produced for Pima County is as multilingual as possible.

“We are trying to make sure that the content we do have control over is accessible to everyone,” he said. “A lot of times that critical information that we need to get out is not coming from us, so we are doing our best to try and find those resources.”

Pacheco added the department’s next task is working with refugee organizations and leaders from other communities to produce material in more languages.

Updated information in Spanish and English on the coronavirus can be found on the department’s website.

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