The Latinx community continues to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. That’s why the Kern County Public Health Department recently created a first-of-its-kind task force to address this issue.
The Latinx community makes up 37.1 percent of cases across the county, according to the health department’s dashboard. However, 49.4 percent of cases are listed as other which means the percentage of Latinx people infected could be much higher. The task force will give the county the ability to actively combat the high case numbers, Director of Public Health Services Matt Constantine said.
“What we need to do is make everyone aware that COVID numbers are higher in our Latino populations,” he said. “And so we need to do more.”
The Latino COVID Task Force is made up of at least 28 prominent Latinx leaders from different industries throughout Kern County, Constantine said.
“The idea here is that we have several different approaches to try and change these metrics to provide better awareness and education, better testing, better access to resources for those who are affected disproportionately,” Constantine said.
Funding for these initiatives comes from the health department. The task force consists of subcommittees that will focus on specific areas within the Latinx population including job sectors, age groups and locations.