FILE PICTURE: Individuals wearing face masks stroll along the ocean pier in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., July 23,2020 REUTERS/Mike Blake
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – Latinos in California are ending up being ill and passing away from COVID-19 at far higher rates than other groups, the state’s leading health authorities alerted on Tuesday, triggering new outreach and data collection efforts as cases rise.
Latinos make up 39%of the population in the most populated U.S. state, however represent 56%of COVID-19 infections and 46%of deaths, the California Health and Human Solutions secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said in a conference call with press reporters.
Of specific issue is the heavily Latino Central Valley farming area, where cases continue to skyrocket and health centers are ending up being overwhelmed even as the rate of new infections may be slowing in the state overall, Ghaly said.
Experts said an ideal storm of workplace problems and cultural traditions in the Central Valley has caused a crush of cases that has actually devastated many households. Lots of Latinos in the Central Valley are poor, working in markets such as farming that have actually been deemed necessary during the pandemic. Numerous companies have actually not reliably offered protective equipment to workers or carried out social distancing or rules requiring masks to be used, steps vital to consisting of the virus, state authorities say.
In addition, cultural norms that promote big household events and include many multi-generational households have caused fast and fatal transmission of the infection, frequently to older loved ones who are less able to survive.
On Tuesday, Ghaly stated California would execute a brand-new approach of tracking COVID-19 as well as other transmittable illness by requiring labs to ask the ethnic culture, sexual orientation and gender identity of those they test.
Also of issue is a high death rate for African-Americans who contract the disease, although development has actually been made decreasing the group’s overall infection rate, Ghaly said. African-Americans make up 6%of California’s population and account for 4%of COVID-19 infections however 8.5%of deaths, he stated. Whites, who comprise 37%of the population, represent 17.5%of cases and 30%of deaths, state data reveal.
Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Modifying by Leslie Adler