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Richmond, Chesterfield address disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Hispanic, Latino communities

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Posted at 4:09 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 18:24:39-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- In Richmond, Hispanics and Latinos makeup approximately 32% of all COVID-19 cases but represent only 6% of the population.

Richmond City and Chesterfield Health Districts are collaborating to expand outreach and services to Hispanic and Latino communities who may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19

While COVID-19 is a public health concern for all local residents, there are some members of the population witnessing an increased burden of cases due to a variety of circumstances.

According to the Health Department, Hispanics and Latinos are often employed in service industries like health care, childcare, food service, and cleaning, which can increase the risk of infection and lead to community spread. Moreover, anyone of low socioeconomic status may be less likely to seek testing if they are uninsured or lack access to paid sick leave.

Across Virginia, minority populations comprise 32% of the general population and Hispanic and Latino comprise 9% of the general population.

In Chesterfield County, they make up approximately 15% of all cases but only 9% of the population.

COVID-19 response teams in Richmond and Chesterfield are working closely with Hispanic and Latino leaders and community members to better understand and overcome barriers to care for all residents. Current strategies include expanding testing access and outreach, using contact tracing to identify potentially COVID-19 positive individuals, ensuring positive residents have resources to recover safely in isolation, and providing communities with masks and other resources to limit further community spread.