Racial Equity Task Force Gives SJ Council Covid-19 Policy Advice

A task force convened to study the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on low-income communities of color in Santa Clara County has turned up 30-plus recommendations.

The Health and Racial Equity Task Force, which was spearheaded by San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco and Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), focused on four areas: testing and contact tracing, community engagement, worker and neighborhood safety and resident health and well-being.

The San Jose City Council will review the list of recommendations at its Tuesday meeting.

“Racial disparities within health care and health outcomes have long existed in our nation, and the current global pandemic has only further exasperated the negative outcomes,” Carrasco wrote in a memo.

The recommendations include working with the state and county to offer hotel rooms to people in crowded homes who cannot isolate after testing positive or otherwise being at risk for the virus. Task force members also suggest training spokespeople in a variety of languages to better get information to different ethnic groups and asks the city to support federal, state and local efforts to expand rent relief.

“These disparities are apparent in the data on who is being infected and dying from Covid-19," Carrasco said. “The Santa Clara County Public Health data shows that Santa Clara County’s Black and Latino populations have suffered a disproportionate share of coronavirus cases and deaths.”

As of Aug. 28, African Americans made up 4.17 percent of the county’s 240 recorded Covid-19 deaths while only accounting for 2.36 percent of the population.

Latinos accounted for 32.5 percent of the local death toll while making up 25.78 percent of the county’s population.

Over the last three months, the task force held weekly meetings with community members, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and labor representatives.

To read the full list of recommendations, click here.

The San Jose City Council meets virtually at 11am Tuesday. To connect to the Zoom meeting, click here. To view the full agenda, click here.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

6 Comments

  1. > Task force members also suggest training spokespeople in a variety of languages to better get information to different ethnic groups

    How about, instead, having the MAMMOTHLY funded public education establishment to a better job of teaching American English to different ethnic groups.

    The education establishment already has the money.

  2. What is not mentioned is that African-Americans are testing positive at a rate (1.8%) lower than their population (2.4%). But nothing will be made of that because it doesn’t suit the divisive, race war narrative.
    So the question becomes, how is it that African-Americans are dying at a rate so disproportionate to their low rate of positive testing? Perhaps the answer can be found in comorbidity, as in the CDC’s recent revelation* that 94% of all deaths reported as Covid deaths involve, on the average, 2.6 comorbidities. In other words, healthy people (as in those who don’t smoke, are free of substance abuse problems, eat a healthy diet, and put a little effort into keeping fit), regardless of their race, constitute the never-mentioned group that will, disproportionately, survive the virus.

    *https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm#Comorbidities

  3. Yes, you owe it to these people to pay their rent.

    Maybe moving money because the service industry is over.

  4. Accountability. Personal accountability. The Latino population has the highest rates of diabetes in the country, and that isn’t specific to Latino’s living in the USA. Diabetes and other underlying issues like obesity, heart diseases, high blood pressure, etc., are all know the make COVID-19 cases more serious. Diet and exercise, and not having a diet filled with processed foods and sugar is literally the best thing a person can do to curb having a severe case of COVID-19 – and to somehow say “systemic racism” is the problem is not allowing people to take personal accountability, and focus on the real issue, their health.

    In Mexico (yes, I know all Latino’s are not from Mexico, but CA does have a large Mexican populations) – Type II Diabetes and high blood pressure in individuals over 50 years old is a big issue – and they are experiencing the same problems there, and the health czar is doing the right thing, and being realistic about the issue. He is blaming the root cause of the problem, which are personal choices that lead to comorbidity.

    Be honest with the community – and push for real change. Preventive health measures, like a healthy diet and exercise doesn’t require top notch health-care, it requires personal accountability and responsibility – and our leaders are avoiding the tough discussions and want people to have hotel rooms. I read the recommendations, and it’s typical government bullet points with no real substance.

  5. Crappy groceries out in East Side, Safeway parking lot as dangerous as any place downtown with homeless in the parking lot and Target only other large option. Milpitas Safeway decent, but 10 miles away.

    City no help in getting better options over there, everyone used to bitch about it endlessly.

  6. The Racial Equity Task Force giving advice on medical issues?

    Are. You. Effing. Kidding. Me.

    Seriously, what bunch of mental incompetents thought this was a good idea?

    And, more importantly, what bunch of imbeciles would listen?

    Oh, wait. It’s SC County politics in action……..

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