How Coronavirus is Heavily Impacting The Latino Population in California


“In some ways, the virus here is sort of a truth-teller around inequities,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County’s public health officer, to ABC News. “We’re finding that many of our essential workers—you know our grocers, our landscapers, our construction workers—we’re seeing that there’s been transmission within those settings between workers, and then also bringing it home to settings where there may be multiple people living in a single unit.”

Last week, California flagged nine counties experiencing rates of transmission and they were all predominantly Latinx. In LA County, the latest figures show that at least 4,159 people have died with the majority being Latinx (47%), who make up 48% of the population.

These factors indicate that the majority of the Latinx community affected by the coronavirus are low-income essential workers, many of whom have underlying health issues. What exacerbates the situation is that over half of those uninsured in California are Latinos, and those who are undocumented also didn’t receive the stimulus check when they’re one of the most affected by the economic blow of the pandemic.

“So you had a situation where if a Latino had the COVID-19 virus,” said policy director at the Latino Community Foundation Christian Arana to NPR. “They had to ask themselves—do I go out and spread this to others, or do I stay home and probably lose the opportunity to provide for myself, for my family?”