The increase is partly due to the fact that Latinos make up a significant portion of the essential workers who are not able to work from home during a pandemic. ABC News reported in May that data from the Institute for Economic Policy showed that while Latinos were "slightly more than 18% of the population ”, they represented“ 21% of the main workforce ”.
Employers, from food processors to grocery stores, should be required to take all precautionary measures that protect both the worker and the customer. However, this does not happen. The L.A. Times reported that "less than 60% of the workplaces inspected by inspectors in the past week fully complied with COVID-19 safety rules," according to data from the L.A. County Public Health Office showed.
"In LA County, only 61% of restaurants and bars visited between November 25 and Thursday met the coronavirus rules: 71% of gyms, 69% of retail stores and malls, 48% of grocery stores and 46% of hotels," it said in the report with violations such as missing mask and social distancing. "None of the 14 clothing manufacturers visited by the district fully met the requirements."
But other factors also play a role. "Some Latino neighborhoods are more densely populated, which makes the virus easier to spread," the report continued. “Five of LA County's 25 highest rates of infection are in northeastern San Fernando Valley, zip codes with high housing crowds and areas that are home to large numbers of vital workers who are at high risk of infection. ”
Calls have been made to prioritize key agricultural workers for the COVID-19 vaccine virus highly effective Workers who feed America. This worker, nonprofit environmental journalism organization InsideClimate News said in July, "the virus becomes infected at much higher rates than people in other occupations."
But undocumented farm workers, who make up a significant portion of these workers, were excluded from the one round of financial relief the federal government sent out this year, and talks about sending a crappy $ 600 check seem to rule them out again. “The government has identified farm workers as essential workers. They are expected to work during a pandemic, ”said Bruce Goldstein, President of Farmworker Justice told HuffPost last month.
Mark Sumner of daily Kos wrote last week that COVID-19 hospital stays on Wednesday of this week “exceeded 100,000 for the first time. The 203,427 new cases registered on Wednesday was another record. More cases of ill-advised travel begin a week after Thanksgiving, and the deaths at these family and friend gatherings are days or weeks before they add to the total. "
More major holidays are around the corner and there will be renewed pressure to urge people to stay home. And many will do it – not only during the holidays, but also for daily work. But for others, like key workers, this is not an option.
"It's very clear, and quite alarming, that certain groups are again at greater exposure than others," said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, according to the L.A. Times. “The racial and ethnic group gap, which we made great strides in closing in September, has now widened again dramatically, especially for our Latino residents. As you will see, all groups are actually growing. "