While COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, contact tracers are working to reach out to those who have been infected, to isolate the risk of spreading the virus. Recently, a lawmaker in Virginia made news by calling on the governor to employ more bilingual contact tracers due to almost half of the COVID-19 cases in Virginia occurring in the Latino community.
According to a recent census, in the metro Atlanta area alone, there are an estimated 146 languages spoken, with 17% of the population over the age of five speaking a language other than English at home. In larger cities, it is not unusual to have concentrations of non-English speakers, nor is it unusual to see spikes in COVID-19 cases in more densely populated areas. It is necessary to utilize bilingual contact tracers to disseminate and gather accurate information, though this is probably easier said than done.
As an alternative, developing a bilingual script or creating flash cards for the contact tracers to use may be sufficient and more cost effective. With this option, the user can point to the text on the flash card and communicate with people who cannot speak or understand English.
Another option is creating a video with subtitles or voice over that the contact tracer can show from their cell phone.
World Translation Center can help with creating flash cards and bilingual scripts, as well as adding subtitles and voice over to video in many different languages! We offer translation services in over 150 languages, as well as in-person interpretation. We are happy to assist with your COVID-related projects.