Adriana Enrique collects fresh fruits and vegetables every day under the scorching sun of Florida. Responsible for being the only provider for his family and which the federal government considers “necessary,” Enrique is among the demographic groups that, according to new data, carry a disproportionate share of coronavirus cases.
“Ever since the pandemic began, many of the people I work with have tested positive for the virus,” said Enrique, “The Dreamer,” protected by the Deferred Actions Upon Arrival of Children (DACA) program. “And it’s not just the farmers, many in my area who Hispanics also received COVID-19.”
New data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that Latinos across the country suffer from a disproportionate number of cases of coronavirus, which exceeds the percentage of other positive results among other minorities.
Data on the effects of coronavirus on ethnic and minority groups is still emerging, as states are not yet required to provide these demographic data, although a new measure will require them from August 1.
But current statistics The published CDC shows that the percentage of Hispanic Americans who make up cases of coronavirus is almost equal to white – about 34% – despite the fact that Hispanics make up a much smaller proportion of the population.
For example, in Ann Arundel County, Maryland, 38% of cases of coronavirus are in Hispanic origin, although they make up 8% of the population. In Tennessee, the Hispanic Nashville population accounts for one third of COVID-19 cases, but only 10% of the city’s total population.
In Monterey County in California, where more a quarter of all COVID-19 cases in the county Last week, 80% of patients were Hispanic or Latino.
“Many of my relatives who work in agriculture or work in construction have contracted the virus,” said Leticia Morfin, a resident of Monterey County. “They know that going out is a risk, but they have accounts and children to take care of.”
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Dr. Teresa Murray Amato, director of emergency care at the Long Island Jewish Forest Hill in Queens, told ABC News that the data released by the CDC is not surprising. She said that since March, the number of patients with Hispanics is much higher than others.
“Not only did they get infected, I felt that our Latin American patients had worse results,” Armato said. “It just seemed like they really suffered a lot, and all the new data prove that this is not just an episodic case, but it is true that underrepresented color minorities actually have worse results and worse mortality and morbidity from COVID.” than their white colleagues.
Armato said that one of the main reasons Latinos become infected and die at a disproportionate pace is because the workplaces where they work require that they leave home without being able to socially distance themselves.
“These are builders, farmers, fast food workers,” said Armato. “They don’t have the luxury of staying at home.”
“You have workers who earn very little money to continue to drive the nation’s engines, but they don’t receive any protection or benefits,” said Monica Ramirez, president of justice for women migrant women, a human rights organization that seeks to protect interests. and the rights of women farmers. “Work at home is not an option.”
Food and Environment Reporting NetworkAn independent non-profit information organization found 2228 cases of coronavirus among farm workers at 39 farms and manufacturing plants across the country. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 80% of agricultural workers identify as Hispanic.
In a study released Journal of the American Medical Associationmore than 40% of Hispanics in the metropolitan area of Baltimore-Washington, DC, tested positive for COVID-19, which is significantly higher than in any other racial or ethnic group.
The study noted that Latin American patients have historically demonstrated lower rates of use of insurance and health services and that opportunities for social distance are diminished due to dense housing and the status of a primary worker.
“In many states, Latinos cannot pay rents of $ 1,500, so very often a family of four rents one room,” says Alejandra Morales, founder of Voz Latina, an organization that supports Latin American families in New York. Jersey.
“Unfortunately, this is the case with Latin Americans. We can’t stay at home, even if we want, we can’t “at a social distance,” we have to get up and work every day to support our families, “she said.” And now this carries a life-threatening risk. , “
ABC News’ Soorin Kim, Olivia Rubin and Alexandra Dukakis contributed to this report.
Disproportionate cases of coronavirus in Latin Americans: CDC data originally appeared on abcnews.go.com