by Mike McClure

…so the other day I saw a copy of a new LA County report that gives the most detailed picture yet of the COVID-19 harsh toll on poor and non-whites, particularly Hispanics.

In our community Hispanics are a major segment of the population (El Monte is 72% Hispanic and South El Monte is 84%), the new report: “COVID-19 Racial, Ethnic & Socioeconomic Data & Strategies Report” clarifies earlier reported data that had seemed to suggest that Latino’s in LA County have been less effected by the pandemic, relative to their population size, than in other parts of the state and country.

Instead, health officials now say that once adjusted for age, Latino’s make up close to half (46%) of all COVID-19 cases in the county and state-wide Hispanic’s make up 76% of confirmed COVID-19 cases among the people under 18 years old!

The report cites several common reasons for the rise of the impact in the Hispanic community: the need for more testing, the need for information in Spanish, more use of local media and community leaders to spread the awareness, etc.

Chief among the problems cited was lack of affordable housing, which makes Supervisor Solis’s motion May 12 calling on the County to support a comprehensive rent and mortgage relief program for those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis all the more urgent.

Overcrowding – multiple families living in the same housing – are proving to be contributing factors to the spread of the COVID-19 and creates a risk to all of us.

The Supervisor’s motion directs all relevant County Departments to report back on how the $125 million in state disaster relief funds could offer relief to individuals in LA County, and in particular, how these relief funds could be leveraged with County resources to help undocumented immigrants as well.

We will be watching and be ready to support this motion any way we can.