Report: Santa Clara County Latinos Disproportionately Impacted by COVID-19

According to an analysis reported earlier this week by the Bay Area News Group, more than a third of the first 100 COVID-19 deaths in Santa Clara County occurred in just four ZIP codes—all in East San Jose.

The findings show that Latinos living in ZIP codes 95116, 95127, 95122 and 95148 are dying from the novel coronavirus at a rate disproportionate to their percentage of the population. Overall, Latinos make up 27 percent of county residents but account for 34 percent of the coronavirus deaths.

A report in the Mercury News stated that the death rate in the county’s four poorest ZIP codes is four times as high as that of the wealthiest ZIP codes. The analysis also revealed the 95116 ZIP code is one of the deadliest, accounting for 14 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities. Eight of those decedents lived within a block of North Jackson Avenue.

The aforementioned statistics don’t surprise Matt Warren, a staff attorney with the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

“I’m not surprised, and it’s really disappointing to see the virus hitting these communities so hard in particular,” he said. “We feel the Latino communities haven’t been invested in, so they don’t have the same resources to handle the pandemic. People in these communities work low-wage jobs and are less likely to be able to work from home, which means their economic survival is hindered by the stay at home orders.”

The inability of so many people who live in impoverished communities work from home means the chances of them contracting or spreading the virus is higher.

“For many people in minority communities, the fear of eviction and rent-payment is forcing them out of their homes, causing them to be infected, to infect their families, to infect other workers, and to perpetuate the problem,” said Chris Rios, a Milpitas resident who has spoken at public hearings in his hometown and San Jose about the need for cities to protect tenants from displacement.

The coronavirus has reportedly caused 129 deaths in Santa Clara County, and has infected 2,341 people, according to the latest official tally.

Statewide coronavirus numbers also paint a grim picture for certain minorities.

Latinos in the 18-to-34-year-old age group represent 45 percent of the population in California, but account for 60 percent of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths. In the 35-to-49-year category, Latinos account for 41.5 percent of California’s population but a whopping 71 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

16 Comments

  1. Very interesting, but you still haven’t told us why Latinos are 7% more likely to die of the Wuhan Red Death, or as the Governor of New York calls it “The European Virus” for some strange reason. Most other places conclude senior citizens are most likely to die of the virus, could it be these areas are disproportionately in habited by old Latino’s?

    Is it possible that 7% is with in the margin of error? What is the rate of infection in New York among Latinos versus old people and Chinese or Italians or Puerto Ricans.

    Did the people here shelter in place say on May 5th, Easter, Mardi Gras, Chinese lunar New Year, or did they go out and party?

    Did you ever consider too many people confined indoors by the governor might be the problem? Do you think being locked down by the governor for the next 6 months will keep you safer? Maybe we need a smarter governor ?

    • I’m guessing that with such a small sample size 7% is within the margin of error. This seems like a simple race baiting article to stir everyone up. However it would be interesting to know if they were older Latinos, or had excessive BMI, or had other comorbiditys, etc?

      • Work90, I work with this population significantly. Just one example of the different cases I personally have knowledge: A Mother and daughter in law, both Latinas, were infected with the virus at a local restaurant’s celebration. Mother in-law in her late 70s survived despite her other health conditions. Daughter in law was in her early 40s and no significant health condition. She died with a week of being diagnosed. Mother in law fought the virus for six weeks. She is at her home now. Her husband about the same age never showed symptoms or became sick at all. To me, there is an unknown part to this virus. My theory is that the level of exposure to the virus is also significant. Just as those who already have HIV can be reinfected, those with COVID-19 can also be reinfected. The virus continues to mutate and potentially becoming stronger and more contagious. The knowledge about this virus is a work in progress with no treatment or vaccines. It has proven to be way more contagious and deathly than those known in prior pandemics through history.

        • Fexxnist,

          I agree with you in regards to the “unknown part” of this virus. But I don’t believe the virus is contagious as most think. If we look at the USS Roosevelt and the Diamond Princes cruise ship (both enclosed microcosms of society) we see that around 20% (+/-) of the population gets infected. Of which the Diamond Princess had a mortality rate (based on it’s entire population) of 0.0016%. The mortality rate for the USS Roosevelt was much lower than that even.

          So my question is “why those 20% of people?”
          Is it based on DNA (i.e. racial differences)?
          Is it similar comorbidity (i.e. diabetic, pre-diabetic, Body Mass, etc.)?
          Is it exposure, as you suggest?
          Are there multiple strains of the virus (i.e. having antibodies for one may prevent infection by the other)?
          And why aren’t these questions front and center in the Media everyday? Why are they playing stupid “gotcha” games with the President instead of getting to the bottom of this?

          We need answers and we need to open the County and the State today, not on July 1st.

  2. Gun, Puerto Ricans are Latinos too! In San José, some Latinos are “essential workers,” have no equal access to testing and treatment, and of their own fault continue to party. Just today I received an invitation from my Latina friend to have coffee and cake at her home. They have get together events during the weekend, and a big group celebrated Cinco de Mayo. For them work and life has continued as usual while re rest are sheltering in place. The gardeners at my gated community have never stopped working. They are here working everyday.

    • > Just today I received an invitation from my Latina friend to have coffee and cake at her home.

      FEXXY:

      It sounds like Latinos don’t have your best interests at heart. I think they’re trying to get you infected.

      If I were you, I would avoid them. More social distancing!

      • Bubble, I am staying connected to everyone via phone, email, zoom. STAY AT HOME PEOPLE! The virus is here to stay.

        • People Die.

          Get over it.

          If you want to stay at home then fine but not all of us want to stay at home.

          Realistically if you are over 60 and/or in poor health then by all means reducing public contact is likely to be a very good idea..

          Otherwise, if you are young and healthy then get on with your life. The virus doesn’t in statistically significant numbers kill young and healthy people.

          The young and healthy people can and should get on with their lives.

  3. Felix, Gotcha,
    In fact some Puerto Ricans may be Latinos, the demographics of the Islands people is ;76% White European “Spaniard”, 7% Black African and 17% other. While they are separated by a common language from say Mexicans,
    Central Americans, South American, their traditional behavior’s are quite different. It was to that I was addressing the question. So are Puerto Ricans in New York suffering from a higher death rate than any other ethnic group in the county do to some preserved discrimination? I would say yes there might be.

    Take a look at the covid-19 map sent out by the CDC and WHO and you will see a huge red blotch in norther Arizona in 3 county’s Coconino, Navajo and Apache. This is an are bigger than most of the states east of the Mississippi. So why has this population so horribly hit? These are sparsely populated relatively poor Native American Trible areas with a very high infection rate. Is it due to poor health, old age, lack of an abundant supply of clean drinking water, every dancing at the same disco bar?

    Mr. Lee instead of trying to paint all worlds problems on white racism here, take up a true scientific challenge and see how this disease is affecting different populations around the world and why.

    Drop the preconceive conclusion.

  4. Gun, you are out of your mind again. Latinos is an ethnic group made of different races. That is what is meant to be a Latino. You are a mix of races. To give you an example, a very famous Latino singer (Lius Miguel), his mother an Italian, his father from Spain, he was born by chance in Puerto Rico while his parent were on a trip. But his parents main residence was Mexico. He is and he calls himself a Mexican. He is known as the sun of Mexico. This is what it means to be a Latino. Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Central Americans are the four most prominent groups in the United States. Brazilians are also considered Latinos even when their main language is Portuguese. The Latino communities are bonded by their language, culture and faith. Brazil has the most Catholics and Christians in the American continent; soccer and religion are their passions. Mexico has the second most Catholics. This is why the Irish couldn’t fight against the Mexicans. Their religion made them more the same than different. Former corrupted Mexican President Vicente Fox is an Irish. Argentina has the largest decedents of Italians and Brazil and Mexico the most of Jewish… Usa tu diccionario chica!

  5. Living in a four bedroom apartment/home with 4 families in each room, plus people living/sleeping in the living room is a recipe for COVID-19 infection. I’ve heard – A Latino worker would rather lose their life to COVID than to lose their job. Trabajo — dale, dale, dale! Its about providing. No doubt, we’ve got some lazy butts just like the white folks and everyone else — but for the most part, Latinos, particularly the undocumented, do the jobs that none of us wasting time writing or reading these posts will ever do. In fact, I’d consider you – and me – privileged. Some folks- actually, one – writing here are simply bigoted white folks basically waiting for anything Latino to shit on… But, over all, it seems to me there is a clear misunderstanding as to why LatinX is so high.

    Yes, cultural attitude can weigh in, but I gotta be clear – 2 weekends ago I went to Los Gatos (LG) to pickup some Chinese food and the white folks got it right! Beautiful face masks, tanned, teenagers, seniors, nice cars and nice looking dogs — going back and forth on that strip… And their Farmers Market was open. Seriously, it was super nice to enjoy my meal on a cement bench. It felt safe, no urgency, not crowded —- it was good. As I looked around I had to smile (no mask on — I was far from everyone and eating my delicious lunch) because I live in East San Jose – one of the highest hit COVID areas (many immigrants – mostly Latinos), because I realized the people I was looking at walking around with their cutie dogs, tanned, leaned bodies, driving fancy cars, etc… can afford to fight a disease like COVID — they can afford to fight for their lives. I thought — right-on, they earned it. Then I thought about my neighbors who work so damn hard with all kinds of people in their homes. They have not “earned” the right to fight for their lives because they have not made enough money. It’s ALL about money, folks. If you and your neighbors have money, a great insurance, financially secure, stable housing, and space in your home — you are likely going to make it. Too many of my 95116 neighbors don’t even have one of those things. So, yeah, COVID-19 is feasting on my LatinX brothers and sisters.

    It’s about food- It really is true — rich people do not have to eat carbs. Carbs will fill a little empty belly, and keep a worker going a lot longer than some yogurt and berries. Besides, we don’t have grocery stories in our neighborhoods that carry fresh fruit — that is if we have a grocery store. However, there are a lot of liquor stores, but you can’t find a damn apple. We eat what we can afford — and that causes us problems. McDonalds is cheap — we can afford that. Diabetes is a natural — keep eating carbs, which adds pound after pound and you are going to get Diabetes, high blood pressure, knee problems, liver problems, etc… If we could afford to eat better — our culture kicks us in the butt — because if we have more money to eat, than we can invite the primos and tias, and even the cholos to come and eat — there goes the budget, and we are back to eating carbs. There is always space for one more — 10 more, it does not matter, it is ingrained in the Latino cultura — community is valued. It’s like this “If I have, you have.” Family is everything to us — there is nothing better, no traveling, restaurants, or expensive coffee… It is about family and community.

    I hope that gives you a perspective of some of the challenges Latinos in my zip code face. I hope you consider that — what happens in “those” zip codes, is going to impact you (well, unless you live in Los Gatos 8-). We are all in this together. Also, know this — The people you love in your family, and you every day you eat — it’s been picked, packed, or plucked by a Latino – likely, an undocumented one. You are welcome.

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