SAN DIEGO–Latinos continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, the County Health and Human Services Agency reports.
Of the nearly 9,900 COVID-19 cases with known race/ethnicity, about 67% are Hispanic or Latino even though they make up about 34% of the local population.
County data also shows the rate of infection is about 470 people per every 100,000 residents, the highest rate in the region. Furthermore, of the 327 COVID-19 deaths, about 43% or 139 were Latinos.
“There are multiple reasons why the virus is having a more severe impact in the Latino community,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.
Public health officials say Latinos are more likely to be essential or frontline workers, have more underlying medical conditions, live in multigenerational and crowded households, and often show more physical affection.
The county has over 480 disease investigators and contact tracers calling people who tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts so that they place themselves in isolation and self-quarantine.
“When an investigator and contact tracer calls you, it is important that you answer because immediate action is needed,” Wooten said. “What you say is kept confidential and we will not question your address.”
People with symptoms who want to get a COVID-19 test should call their healthcare provider to get one. People without symptoms can now get a COVID-19 test. They need to call their healthcare provider and ask them for one. Tests are covered by insurance.
People without insurance can make an appointment online and get a free test at a county and state site. The site is also in Spanish.
Call 2-1-1 and ask to speak with a public health nurse.
No appointment testing is available at the county drive-up site at South Bay Urgent Care at 1628 Palm Avenue in Imperial Beach. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free tests are limited.