MEI Director Carlnis Jerry speaks about the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you feel sick.
Marshallese community members across the United States are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
We are especially vulnerable to coronavirus, in part, because our community has one of the highest diabetes rates in the world. Having relocated to the United States since the 1980s as Compact of Free Association migrants, Marshallese do not qualify for Medicaid and most have no health insurance. Marshallese live in multigenerational households, which makes it impossible to social distance if someone at home becomes ill.
Additionally, many Marshallese are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic as line workers in meatpacking plants and other factories across the country. Springdale, Arkansas, which is home to approximately 12,000 Marshallese residents, is also the epicenter of industrialized poultry processing, which employs hundreds of Marshallese workers.
In response to this pandemic, MEI staff, other Marshallese community members and advocates in Springdale joined together to form a Covid-19 Response Task Force. Our nonprofit organization received a second grant to distribute healthy foods to Marshallese residents in northwest Arkansas.
However, more is needed, not only locally, but by those who live in other regions of the state and country. As outbreaks continue to occur, we advise plants to follow CDC guidelines and develop new procedures to allow workers to social distance during line work to ensure a safe work environment, provide onsite, regular testing of their workers for Covid-19, pay deductibles for their insured workers and the healthcare costs of uninsured workers and their families.
MEI also supports legislation to restore Medicaid coverage to all COFA migrants in the United States.
Please get your information from trusted sources. Due to the amount of misinformation about COVID-19, we recommend getting your information from the CDC, WHO, and health professionals. We and our partners will keep you informed about information in Marshallese.
Websites in English:
FACT SHEETS by UAMS
What is "social distancing"?
What to do when social distancing?
Who to Call if you're sick (NW Arkansas)
Screening and Testing information NW Arkansas
Em̗ōj an UAMS keboj juōn nam̗ba n̄an an armej kūr l̗ok n̄e ewōr aer kajjitōk ak n̄e rej en̄jaake ke emaron̄ wōr kakal̗l̗e in nan̄inmej ibāer. Nam̗ba in ej 1-800-632-4502. UAMS HealthNow ej bar bel̗l̗ok n̄an kakōlkōl ikijjien COVID-19 im ejjel̗ok wōnen. N̄an tōbar UAMS HealthNow, etal n̄an UAMSHealth.com/healthnow im jibed “Begin Screening.” Jikin jiban̄ in ej bel̗l̗ok 24 awa juōn raan, 7 raan ilo juōn week n̄an aolep rinan̄inmej jekdron jete aer iiō ibelaakin Arkansas im maron̄ in kūr l̗ok jen telebo̗n, tablet, im computer ko im ewōr video ie.
UAMS has set up a coronavirus hotline for people who have questions or feel they may have symptoms. The number is 1-800-632-4502. UAMS HealthNow is also available for free COVID-19 screenings. To access UAMS HealthNow, go to UAMSHealth.com/healthnow and click on “Begin Screening.” This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to patients of all ages across the state of Arkansas and is accessible from a smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer with video capabilities.
Symptoms of COVID-19
Prevention / Safety Measures
Symptoms of COVID-19 (Marshallese)