Pandemic hits Latinos hard

COVID-19 infections, death rates are higher for Latinos in California

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More Latinos in California have had COVID-19 exposure and become sick or died from the disease than have non-Hispanic white people in the state, a Stanford-led study shows.

Researchers analyzed testing and case rates from March 22 to Oct. 3, 2020. The data included 15.4 million tests and confirmed cases of more than 800,000.

The exposure risk estimates were based on the proportion of people living in households with an essential worker and on the number of homes with fewer rooms than household members — a measure of ability to isolate at home if exposed.

Latinos in the state are 8.1 times more likely to live in high-risk households and three times more likely to get COVID-19 than white people. The death rate for Latinos was 1.5 times higher.

“The fact that Latinos in California are the majority racial or ethnic group yet have the worst COVID rates highlights that this is not just a small-population issue,” said Marissa Reitsma, a PhD student at Stanford Health Policy and a co-lead author of the study, published May 12 in Health Affairs.

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Beth Duff-Brown

Beth Duff-Brown is the communications manager for Stanford Health Policy.

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