What to Know
- The Latino and Hispanic community make up about 34% of the population in San Diego County, but more than 60% of COVID-19 deaths.
- The South Bay has been impacted the hardest by the virus.
- Health officials believe that since Latino and Hispanic individuals are more likely to have contact jobs, they've been on the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic.
As a result of recent data showing that the Latino community in San Diego County is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the county will expand its outreach efforts to Latinos across the region.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed Black and Latino communities were most affected by the virus and locally, Latinos carried the biggest burden in connection to the pandemic. In San Diego County, 63% of positive COVID-19 patients were Hispanic or Latino and South Bay communities were especially impacted by the virus.
Communities of Color and the Coronavirus
How the pandemic disproportionately affects people of color.
In an effort to combat that statistic, the county is ramping up its education and outreach with the launch of a new campaign that will be on TV, radio, online and on signs. It will be a bilingual effort to educate the Latino and Hispanic community on the dangers of the virus and what precautions individuals can take to keep themselves and others safe.
“It’s important that we continue to encourage Latinos and all San Diegans to take preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19,” county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said in a statement. “We all have a role to play to protect ourselves and others, especially people who are more vulnerable to the virus.”
Of the 478 coronavirus-related deaths in the county, 45% of them were Latino, according to the county. The San Diego Association of Governments says that because Latino and Hispanic residents are more likely to have high-contact jobs that are considered essential, many have been on the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic. The use of public transportation and living in a multigenerational home also makes health officials believe those are factors that contribute to their increased chance of exposure.
The county said it first began to make outreach efforts in English, Spanish and other languages early in the pandemic when data showed that Latinos and other communities of color were being most affected by COVID-19. Its expansion on those efforts launched this week.