COVID-19 Hits California Latinx Community Disproportionally
As COVID-19 continues to spread across California, the Latino community is at a higher risk of infection and death from the virus than individuals from other ethnicities.
In California, 39% of the population is Latino but account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths. The percentage of Latino Californians’ deaths from coronavirus has increased from 28% in mid-April to 45% by July 22, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that “Latino residents are more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with the virus than white residents in L.A. County.”
Latino workers at higher risk
California’s agricultural regions are areas of concern, where workers continue working through the pandemic to ensure a steady food supply. An estimated 93% of California farmworkers are Latino.
For example, according to The Mercury News, farming communities residents test positive for COVID-19 in the range of 10.7% to nearly 17.7%, much higher than the statewide average of 7.5%.
Further complicating workplace exposure is agriculture, grocery, and other critical sectors regularly interact with others increasing the risk of transmission.
Agricultural and Grocery Workers Are Protected
We often take the people that make sure we have food to eat for granted. Fortunately, Governor Newsom and or legislature doesn’t. Gov Gavin Newsom announced that the state will provide $52 million to help support the state’s agricultural regions. The funds will be used to improve quarantine and testing protocols and hire more healthcare workers. If enacted, Senate Bill 1159 will help workers get workers’ compensation benefits faster if they are infected with the virus.
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to California workers who are injured on the job in either a specific injury or are exposed to dangerous conditions over time, including COVID-19.