Letters to the Editor: Pharmacists

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Allowing pharmacists to test and treat for flu and strep is good for Florida businesses

Editor, The Beacon:

While the hype around the coronavirus continues to grow, Florida cannot afford to lose sight of the very contagious and deadly virus that is currently impacting about 19 million people in the nation – the flu.

This session, Rep. Tyler Sirois in the Florida House is pushing for a measure that would allow local pharmacies to provide testing and treatment for both the flu and strep.

On behalf of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the more than 604,000 Hispanic-owned businesses across the state that we serve, we believe Rep. Sirois’ House Bill 389 has great potential to help reduce the negative impacts to Florida employers and employees who have fallen ill to these very contagious illnesses.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the flu causes U.S. employees to miss approximately 17 million workdays due to the flu, at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.

With statistics like these, now is the time to open the door to additional access points for Floridians to receive the health care they need, while protecting the economic growth and development for Florida businesses.

Allowing local pharmacists to test and treat for the flu and strep would do just that and more.

We encourage Floridians to contact their lawmakers and urge them to support HB 389.

Julio Fuentes

West Palm Beach

— Fuentes is president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.