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Webinar helps Spanish-speaking food vendors stay safe from COVID-19 spread

Posted at 5:40 PM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 06:09:16-04

MILWAUKEE — Communities of color continue to be hit particularly hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's why city leaders are taking a direct approach to keep people safe.

Presented in Spanish, city leaders held the first of two “Moving Milwaukee Forward” webinars this week to educate Spanish-speaking business owners about ways to reduce the risk of Coronavirus at their businesses.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health, 24 percent of people with COVID-19 are hispanic or Latino despite making up only six percent of the state population.

In Milwaukee County where 15 percent of the population is Hispanic or Latino, the rate of positive COVID-19 cases sits at 31 percent.

Marco Santos owns four El Tapatio food trucks across southeast Wisconsin. He knows how hard it is to run a business during a pandemic.

“I think we are on a risk at all times because we have to take orders from customers through a window, so what we try to do is keep a distance,” Santos said.

Aside from using more personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, Santos asks customers to wait in their car, packages condiments to-go, and keeps employees at certain stations on the food truck.

“We reinforce what we used to do and try to do it better,” Santos said.

It's one of several steps the city encourages business owners to take to keep customers and staff safe. something Santos said is his top priority.

“It’s a difficult time but we are trying to survive,” he explained.

Santos said he’s found success in staffing his employees 12 hours a day. It has help to keep them from needing to find other places to work and decreasing the risk of a spread.

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