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This page offers all of Delaware Public Media's ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it is affecting the First State. Check here regularly for the latest new and information.

Communicating about the coronavirus crisis in Delaware’s Hispanic community

Hoy en Delaware

The Hispanic Delawareans have faced the highest per capita rate of known COVID-19 infections of any racial or ethnic group in the state.

State public health officials have said Spanish-language media and other trusted community partners are part of their strategy to disseminate information about the virus to this population.

This week, Delaware Public Media’s Sophia Schmidt talks with publisher and founder of Hoy en Delaware, Jose Somalo, about the role the the Spanish-language monthly paper is playing in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Somalo says the coronavirus has changed the focus of the paper’s content, but not much else.

“The mission has not changed," he said. "I think it has made clear what we do. And even though we have been 24 years [operating,] but as far as our Facebook page, we are in the forefront covering information up and down the state. ”

Somalo says Facebook has become important for disseminating breaking news. 

“Our community is working, so they don’t have the time to be researching here or there,” he said. “But they can look through our Facebook page through their phones.”

Still, the publication has faced some challenges.

“There is a local hospital that last week we had a little strong conversation [with], saying we are here, we have been here for many years, and you have not even given us information [about a testing event in Georgetown],” he said. 

The Georgetown area has the highest rate of testing in the state — as well as the most known cases per capita. 

As of Wednesday there were more than 170 known cases for every 10,000 Hispanic and Latino Delawareans. 

The number of lab-confirmed cases among Sussex County Hispanics is likely an undercount, according to Somalo. 

He says Hoy has talked to many in that community who say they were sick with symptoms of COVID, but did not seek testing before prescription-free testing became more available there.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.