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COVID Data from Q1 Shows Latinos Are Still Being Disproportionately Hit

  ·  Sylvia Puente

Dear friends and allies of the Latino Policy Forum, 

As you likely know, since March 2020 the Forum has been reporting on the cumulative rate of COVID cases and deaths by race and ethnicity. That cumulative data illustrates the horrific toll that COVID has taken and continues to take on the Latino community. As indicated in the data, there are more than 10,000 cases of COVID for every 100,000 Latinos in Illinois. Said another way, approximately 10 percent of Latinos in Illinois have or have had COVID, which is a rate 59 to 164 percent higher than it is for any other racial-ethnic group.

I wanted to share a new analysis that provides a quarterly summary of the rate of new cases by race and ethnicity.

The number of new cases of COVID for every 100,000 Latinos for the first quarter of 2021 is 2,149, which means that about 2 percent of Latinos in Illinois were diagnosed with COVID during this timeframe. This is higher than the rates of 1,200 for the Asian population, 1,557 for the Black population, and 1,985 for the White population, for everyone 100,000 individuals in those racial-ethnic groups. I believe that this situation must be monitored; we must act to ensure that the devastation to the Latino community is mitigated. The disproportionate impact on our community cannot be overstated.

At the Forum, we are raising this issue now, because as the number of people vaccinated continues to grow and we witness more openings in the hospitality, dining, tourism, education, entertainment, sporting, and recreation arenas, there is hope in the air. Many believe we are winning against the virus. However, as the first quarter data from 2021 shows, Latinos are not winning. We are the group that is most impacted. And as earlier analysis from the Forum has shown, Latinos’ high risks for and high rates of COVID are largely due to economic necessity. Many Latinos are essential workers; many have jobs that provide the least opportunity to work from home. These are jobs that put them in harm’s way. Day after day

We need to ensure that equity drives the responses and resource allocations from both the public and private sectors. We all must do our part to respond to this crisis, which remains unabated. 

Wishing you peace and good health,