Latinos living in Los Angeles are twice as likely to get COVID-19 as the county's white population. According to the latest official data, the group is exposed to the virus due to "essential" personal jobs and densely populated apartment buildings.
By mid-November, the daily infection rate per 100,000 Latinos was 274 new cases, compared with 125 among whites. This is based on age-adjusted health data from the district in order to make comparisons more meaningful.
The significant gap underscores the magnitude of the recent outbreak in the most populous county in the United States, where census figures show that more than 48 percent of Los Angeles' 10 million residents are Latinos and only 26 percent are non-Latino whites.
California faces record new incidents in a brutal third wave of coronavirus that slams ICU capacities and triggers new "stay-at-home" orders. In Los Angeles County alone, more than 10,000 new cases were registered on Sunday.
The county recorded a total of 8,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday.
"It is very clear, and quite alarming, that certain groups are again facing more exposure than others," said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for the county, recently.
"The racial and ethnic group gap, which we made great strides in closing in September, has now widened again dramatically, especially for our Latino residents."
Latinos tend to be more exposed to COVID-19 overall as many work in "essential" jobs that are still locked down but cannot be teleworked, such as grocery stores, factories and agriculture, experts say.
High-density working-class neighborhoods that support the spread of the virus are disproportionately home to Latino residents across the county.
The death rate for Latinos, at 3 deaths per 100,000, was also significantly higher than 1.7 for blacks, 1.2 for Asians and just 0.91 for whites at the end of last month.
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Los Angeles Latinos Twice as likely to contract COVID: data (2020, Dec 9)
accessed on December 9, 2020
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