February 5, 2020
Statement from Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA) on the coronavirus
AKRON – Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA), which serves the immigrant and refugee communities in Northeast Ohio through its culturally and linguistically focused community health centers and social services, cautions everyone to ascertain the facts about the coronavirus and to not give in to rumors nor perpetuate prejudice toward Asian Americans.
ASIA has been working in close partnership with local public health officials as well as the CDC. The experts conclude that there is no current public health threat of the coronavirus in Northeast Ohio. Like other health systems, ASIA has adopted the universal precautionary screening procedure to evaluate all of its patients for potential coronavirus. ASIA is also reminding all of our patients and clients to exercise proper handwashing and to cover a cough or sneeze. These are steps that should be taken in case of any illness to avoid infecting others, whether with the flu or a cold. ASIA is not aware of any confirmed cases of the coronavirus anywhere in the region. In fact, all deaths connected to the virus, except for two, have occurred in China.
Recently, ASIA has been made aware of an increase in suspicion and mistreatment of Asian Americans and, in particular, of Chinese Americans in Northeast Ohio. We urge people not to let unfounded fears fan flames of bias against anyone of Asian descent.
ASIA is asking everyone to rely on legitimate announcements from the CDC and other official public health agencies. Spreading misinformation of any type makes all of us less safe. Any anti-Asian racism, profiling or discrimination targeting our Asian American and Chinese American friends, neighbors and businesses harms all of our communities.
Elaine Tso, Esq.
CEO of Asian Services In Action, Inc.