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CoronavirusSanta Clara County COVID-19 cases reflect longstanding racial disparities

Santa Clara County COVID-19 cases reflect longstanding racial disparities

Newly released data from the County of Santa Clara shows that among those residents who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, 35.9% of them are Hispanic/Latinx, 22.5% of them are Asian/Pacific Islander, 18.9% of them are White (Non-Hispanic), 2% of them are black, and just over 20% of them are classified as Other or Unknown. The sizable margin of those in the Other/Unknown category indicates that these numbers will shift as more information comes to light.

Per the newest data from April 21, Santa Clara County has seen 1,962 confirmed cases of the virus, 94 of which resulted in death. 

On April 22, The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Sacred Heart, and 19 other Santa Clara County community-based organizations directed a letter to the Board of Supervisors, the message of which was to leverage this virus data — while following up with more related data — as part of addressing and correcting longstanding racial disparities in the county. 

“It is clear,” the letter read in part, “that communities of color are among the hardest hit – even here in Santa Clara County.” The signers then called for fresh policies addressing racial and systemic inequities. 

In addition, the letter writers pointed out that the hardest hit group, the Hispanic/Latinx community, while accounting for 35.9% of all cases — and 33% of all deaths — constitute only 25% of the county’s population. They added, “nearly three times as many African Americans have died compared to the general population.”

The disparity stems from Hispanic/Latinx and African-American community members working in essential service jobs that yield greater exposure to the general population and thus the virus.

“There is no question,” read the letter, “that COVID-19 has exposed the deep-seated inequities that have long plagued our society.”

 

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Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.

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