Multiple reports, including a study from the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), released last week reveal that Latino and African-American communities are significantly more impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the African-American and Hispanic communities make up a large portion of the essential workforce.
According to data released by San Diego County, Latinos make up 67% of all known positive COVID-19 cases, 5,517 of the 8,201 cases reported, where racial data was available, according to data from San Diego County. The rate at which Latinos are getting COVID-19 (479.4 per 100,000) is more than four times of the white population (112.6 per 100,000).
According to the SANDAG report,
Hispanic employees account for 32% of the overall workforce in the region but represent 46% of those working in the foodservice industry, and 37% of those working in the retail sector (excluding grocery and drug store).
Hispanic employees also make up the largest percentage of the essential workforce in building cleaning services (65%), grocery and drug stores (44%), and childcare and social services (39%).
African-American employees account for nearly 5% of the overall workforce in the region but represent a larger percentage of the essential workforce--more than 7% of the childcare and social services, 9% in trucking, warehouse, and postal service, and nearly 20% of public transit workers.
Asian employees account for about 12% of the overall workforce in the region but represent 22% of those working in the health care sector.
White employees, which account for 48% of the region’s workforce, account for only 40% of the pool of workers in high-contact and essential occupations.
"What’s changed is COVID and the accompanying social unrest, not just around the murder of Mr. [George] Floyd, but the broader spotlight on that issue has shone a spotlight on these issues that has engaged a lot of folks that haven’t historically been engaged," county supervisor Nathan Fletcher said, according to KPBS.
The SANDAG report also found that:
67% of African-American and 70% of Hispanic residents live in areas with above-average unemployment rates
52% of African-American and 49% of Hispanic residents live in areas with above-average COVID-19 cases
45% of African-American and 42% of Hispanic residents live in areas that have both above average COVID-19 cases and above-average unemployment rates.