coronavirus pandemic

Black, Latino Communities Face Greater Risk for Unemployment; Infection from COVID-19

NBCUniversal, Inc.

According to new data released by SANDAG, the number of COVID-19 cases has tripled in San Diego County since June. Black and Latino communities are still being hit the hardest by the virus -- economically and in terms of transmission.

Christina Almenar, of Spring Valley, is a Latina woman who has been impacted by the virus on several fronts.

“It hit home from the very beginning,” Alemnar said. She told NBC 7, she lost one of her long-time friends to the virus in March.

“She was full of life, healthy, positive, I mean was just a beautiful girl. We lost a very beautiful soul,” Alemnar said.

The virus didn’t stop there. Almenar said one of her sons was infected by the virus, too.

“He was sick. He thought he was going to die,” she said.

At the same time, Almenar said she was still caring for an 86-year-old man who suffers from respiratory illness. She said her hours at work had reduced to limit him from exposure.

“It’s stressful. You just don’t know. I can’t run the risk of taking something to him or my granddaughter,” Almenar said.

She said she’s doing her best to save money since her paychecks are cut in half.

“We just found um, cheaper ways to do things, entertainment, play games at home, puzzles,” she said.

She’s part of the Black and Latino community, who are facing similar struggles every day.

According to SANDAG’s latest survey, Black and Hispanic communities are nearly three times as likely to lives in areas that have been impacted by COVID-19 and unemployment.

Some community hot spots include; Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, El Cajon, Escondido, Golden Hill, City Heights, Logan Heights, Encanto, College, Nestor, and San Ysidro. Experts link the data to populations with many essential workers or people who have become unemployed because of working in the hospitality and service industries.

Almenar said the data is concerning and she hopes people use masks and physical distance.

“I have friends that do a lot of outside activities and I see them post up and I just say a prayer because that’s not going to be my story. If I get it, it’s because it came and got me,” Alemnar said.

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