A Dallas city council member enlisted the help of the state and an association representing contractors to bring a COVID-19 vaccination and testing site to West Dallas.
The U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association will be in Dallas on Friday and Saturday for the event.
“We’re all interconnected. All the industries are interconnected,” said Frank Fuentes of the association in Austin.
Industry workers, from builders to plumbers, especially within the Latino community have been hit hard by COVID-19, he said.
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“In Travis County, 50 to 50.5% of individuals that have died of COVID are Latino,” said Fuentes. “You have to assume that it’s because we’re the ones that are on the forefront. We’ve never been quarantined. That’s just not the way we earn our living.”
The association has been co-hosting vaccination and testing sites across the state to help keep families safe and better protected against coronavirus.
The association will join Dallas City Council member Omar Narvaez on Friday and Saturday at the West Dallas Multipurpose Center for a vaccination and testing clinic.
The clinic is located at 2828 Fish Trap Road.
Friday’s clinic runs from Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday’s clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event is open to anyone in need of a COVID-19 test or vaccine, including children five and up.
Booster shots will also be available. You’re asked to bring your vaccination card. Social distancing and masks will be required inside.
The services will be provided at no cost. Neither identification nor an appointment or insurance is required.
The community center is located in the 75212 zip code, encompassing most of West Dallas.
The zip code has been considered a ‘hot spot’ for COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic, according to Narvaez.
“It’s been consistent with high numbers and the numbers are growing and growing fast,” said Narvaez.
"Many households in this area are particularly Latino, multi-generational and workers who have continued to work throughout the pandemic," said Narvaez.
About 61% of residents in the zip code have received at least one vaccine, according to online vaccination records.
Narvaez tells NBC 5 has helped test or vaccinate approximately 10,000 people at pop-up clinics in churches and community centers.
Recently, he’s heard from many constituents who contracted the virus just before or after Christmas.
Many also say they’ve had a difficult time finding testing and vaccination sites, so he’s bringing both services to them.
“I didn’t want folks to just get a test. ‘Oh, I’m negative’ and you still need your booster, or you need that second dose or you’ve never even been vaccinated,” he said. “So, you get that first or second dose. Your children are in school and we need you to get those children vaccinated.”
Asked what his constituents tell him about their decision not to get vaccinated up to this point, Narvaez said “Maybe they don’t understand, or they didn’t know or got misinformation on social media.”
Some workers say they expect to have cold-like symptoms after receiving the shot and simply can’t afford to miss a day of work, to which Narvaez responds, “I’d rather you be sick for a day than end up in the hospital or worse."