COVID-19

COVID-19 is hitting California’s Latino community hard

Lesley McClurg Jul 27, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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A religious message about the coronavirus in El Centro, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images
COVID-19

COVID-19 is hitting California’s Latino community hard

Lesley McClurg Jul 27, 2020
A religious message about the coronavirus in El Centro, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The Latino community continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic in California. Many Latino workers are on the front lines in essential positions with little or no health insurance.

People like Socorro Diaz. After sheltering in place for weeks, she started cleaning houses again in May. But now, she’s out of work again. Clients started canceling in recent weeks as the case count spiked in Santa Rosa. Plus she doesn’t want to put her clients in danger. COVID-19 has plagued her family for months.

First her sister, then her sister’s husband, her niece … eventually, 15 family members tested positive — including her 22-year-old son. Diaz said her sister was likely the first case and might have caught the illness at a factory job where masks ran short.

The virus is disproportionately affecting people in California’s Latino community, according to California’s Department of Public Health, who make up nearly 39% of the state’s population. But they account for more than 55% of COVID-19 cases and more than 45% of deaths associated with the disease in the state.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full story.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

With a slow vaccine rollout so far, how has the government changed its approach?

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced changes to how the federal government is distributing vaccine doses. The CDC has expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone 65 and older, along with people with conditions that might raise their risks of complications from COVID-19. The new approach also looks to reward those states that are the most efficient by giving them more doses, but critics say that won’t address underlying problems some states are having with vaccine rollout.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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