LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — By the time the first case of COVID-19 appeared in Kentucky, Isabel Gereda Taylor was already channeling important information about the virus to those in Lexington’s international community.
Gereda Taylor is the multicultural affairs coordinator for Global Lex, a center overseen by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government that connects limited English speakers with community resources.
Nearly 200 languages are spoken in Lexington, according to a Global Lex report. The most common foreign languages spoken are Spanish, Swahili, Arabic, Nepali, Japanese, and French.
The demand for language access has increased in Lexington because of the pandemic, according to Gereda Taylor. Global Lex has compiled resources in more than 150 languages to communicate key information about the coronavirus and health developments in the United States, but keeping up with local updates takes time and effort.
“It’s not slowing down,” she said. “Everybody is collaborating and everyone is pulling together, but it’s still not enough to reach everyone that is in linguistic or cultural isolation. We still have room to improve every day.”
In order to keep up with the demand, Gereda Taylor told LEX 18 News many multilingual professionals and organizations are coming together to interpret, translate and distribute information in as many languages as possible.
“It is critical in the pandemic that everyone has accurate information so that we can protect each other and help each other,” Gereda Taylor said. “We’re getting that information to people to wear masks, to social distance, to protect themselves, to get vaccinated if they are on that list, and to help their community members stop the virus.”
Global Lex provides access to information and assistance about economic developments, legislative changes, eviction prevention, job opportunities, and more in several languages.
To access updates and information in various languages, you can go here. If you are multilingual and would like to help, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.