Latinos in Los Angeles twice as likely to contract COVID: data

By mid-November, the daily infection rate per 100,000 Latinos was 274 new cases, compared to 125 among white people, according to county health data adjusted for age to make comparisons more meaningful.

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LOS ANGELES - Latinos living in Los Angeles are twice as likely to contract COVID-19 as the county's white population, with "essential" in-person jobs and densely populated residences leaving the group highly exposed to the virus, the latest official data shows.

By mid-November, the daily infection rate per 100,000 Latinos was 274 new cases, compared to 125 among white people, according to county health data adjusted for age to make comparisons more meaningful.

The significant gap underlines the scale of the latest outbreak in the United States' most populous county, where more than 48% of Los Angeles' 10 million residents are Latino, and just 26% are non-Latino whites, according to census figures.

California is facing record new cases in a brutal third coronavirus wave that is slamming intensive care unit capacities and triggering sweeping new "stay-at-home" orders. Los Angeles county alone recorded more than 10,000 new cases on Sunday.

The county passed 8,000 overall deaths from the coronavirus on Tuesday.

"It is very clear and quite alarming that certain groups are once again bearing a greater burden than others," 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."

Latinos tend to be more exposed to COVID-19 overall, as many work in "essential" jobs that have continued under lockdown but cannot be carried out by teleworking, such as in grocery stores, factories and agriculture, experts say.

Working-class neighbourhoods with high population densities that aid the spread of the virus are disproportionately home to Latino residents across the county.

Mortality rates for Latinos were also starkly higher, at 3 deaths per 100,000, compared to 1.7 for Black residents, 1.2 for Asians and just 0.91 among white residents at the end of last month.

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