SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — When it comes to positive coronavirus cases, the numbers are hitting the Sacramento-area Latino population at an alarming rate.
“Eight hundred fifty-three Latinos have been infected by COVID-19 in Sacramento County, 34.1% of the total. When the Latinx population in Sacramento County is only 19.3%,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
On Thursday, health, government and local Latino organization leaders met virtually to discuss the real-world problem.
While the Latino cases now make up more than a third of all cases countywide, that number was far less just weeks ago.
“Used to be around 18 or 15% of our COVID population,” Sacramento County Health Director Dr. Peter Beilenson told FOX40. “In the last three to four weeks, a lot of people have been gathering, and birthday celebrations, graduation celebrations, et cetera, with extended family and extended family and friends and that has been a large part of the increase.”
Rachel Rios, the executive director at La Familia Counseling Center, said for Latinos, it goes far beyond just family gatherings.
“They are getting COVID because they are out there working in the communities. They are the frontline workers in the fields, in the stores. They are your service industry and many times they don’t have sick leave,” said Rios. “They don’t have the opportunity to take time off.”
Rios added the testing numbers show that the Latino population wants to be tested.
“We are hoping that through a coalition of many other Latino organizations, we can gather in the next days and talk about how together we can formulate some strategies to really address this spike,” said Rios.
Meanwhile, Rios said supplying masks to the community is key, along with continued education.