South Bay

COVID-19 Health Disparities in South Bay

The new "equity metric" is intended to address the spread of the novel coronavirus among the Black, Latino and Pacific Islander communities, all of which have been disproportionately affected by the virus for a variety of reasons

NBC Universal, Inc.

There's a new plan to address a health disparity and create health equity for San Diego's underserved communities. The state's new health equity metric is a set of guidelines intended to measure the impact the coronavirus is having on the county's most disadvantaged communities. This metric will help determine whether San Diego county can move into less restrictive tiers and more reopenings.

“The Latino community needs help,” said Jovita Arellano. “People are still struggling not only with COVID-19 but with everything else like housing, food, transportation, and education.”

Arellano has been asking for more resources in the South Bay for decades, she’s a program director for the Institute of Public Strategies.

“It’s not one fix, it’s two handful of fixes,” she explained.

Recently, Arellano lost her father-in-law Antonio Arrellano, 80, to COVID-19. She's also seen other friends and community members struggle with the virus.

“It is very sad because that had to happen, it shouldn’t have happened. You shouldn’t have to know that these people are dying and there are no resources for them,” she said.

Solutions she's offering are to increase testing locations across the South Bay and make it accessible for people to get to. Also, encouraging more outreach is done in Spanish, along with more options for free food and transportation.

“This epidemic is being transferred all over the place and there’s not enough resources to combat this,” Arellano said.

On Friday, the Institute of Public Strategies is handing out a neighborhood survey in San Ysidro asking the community about their needs and how COVID-19 has impacted them.

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