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More than 30 percent of COVID-19 cases are hitting Latinx community

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 17:32:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Editor's Note: The term Latinx is a gender-neutral term that is used to identify those of Latin American descent.

The Pima County Health Department is reporting more than 30 percent of all known cases of COVID-19 in Pima County are those in the Latinx community.

The county reported 40 percent of cases can’t be matched to a specific race on July 2, but Pima County Health Director Theresa Cullen said the county has no reason to believe that would change the percentages.

She added the county is initiating another push to make sure that ethnicity is identified at the time of testing.

"I think without [collecting demographic data] we're unable to determine what if there's inequity or disparities and we're committed to making sure that we target the right populations, for testing and also for appropriate follow up and to make sure people have adequate resources so that they can if they need to isolate they can isolate,” said Dr. Theresa Cullen, Pima County Health director.

Dr. Cullen explained the demographic data comes with a secondary correlation- income. She confirmed lower-income families are being hit harder.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said although COVID-19 is being seen across the city -- it’s hitting these zip codes the hardest.

"The zip codes that we are seeing hit especially, especially bad are 85714, 85713, and 85706, which are mostly in the south side of Tucson in the south side. It's a traditional area that has a high percentage of Latinx community in those areas so we are trying to do everything we possibly can to make sure that people take this very seriously, that they protect themselves and their families," explained Mayor Regina Romero.

The city and county are ensuring their messages are given in both English and Spanish and this weekend the city is worked to ensure residents have what they need.

"Throughout the city of Tucson mayor and council in the City of Tucson decided to do a big purchase of face mass, so that we can give to people that don't have the capacity to purchase their own," said Mayor Romero.

The county is working to ensure testing is being done and the right data is being gathered.

"We're trying to figure out whether there are also some additional areas where we should do what we would call pop up testing, you know, we would go in and in a weekend we might do more testing there, you know, similar to what some of the federally qualified health centers have done," said Dr. Cullen.

You can find COVID-19 data for Pima County here.