Latino residents are bearing the brunt of an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections, underscoring the racial and economic inequities the pandemic has had in California, and particularly in Los Angeles County.

In L.A. County, Latino residents are now becoming infected with the virus at more than double the rate of white residents, according to data.

The increase is a reversal in progress the county saw in the late summer and early fall as the disparity among racial and ethnic groups lessened and the overall spread of the virus flattened. In August, county officials expressed optimism as COVID-19 infection rates and deaths in the Latino and Black communities tumbled. Now they are sounding new alarms.

“It is very clear and quite alarming that certain groups are once again bearing a greater burden than others,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said recently. “The gaps between race and ethnicity groups, where we made a lot of progress in closing in September, have now once again dramatically widened, particularly for our Latino residents. All groups, as you’ll see, are in fact experiencing increases.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

A graph shows that the COVID-19 death rate among Latino and Black residents in L.A. County from April to November 2020 is higher than that of white residents. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)
A graph shows that the COVID-19 death rate among Latino and Black residents in L.A. County from April to November 2020 is higher than that of white residents. (L.A. County Department of Public Health)

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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