San Diego Latino communities face systemic barriers to COVID-19 testing

Barriers prevent Latinos from undergoing COVID-19 testing

COVID-19 barriers

A report released last month highlights the challenges facing the Latino community with COVID-19. Canva photo

Ekaterina Pechenkina, Staff Writer

Serious and systemic barriers are preventing Latino communities from undergoing COVID-19 testing and engaging in contact tracing programs in San Diego County, according to a report released by The Chicano Federation on Sept. 28.

In contrast, the report also finds that San Diego County Latinos are willing to participate in T3 strategy – testing, tracing and treatment – if it is available in English and Spanish, addressing the community’s privacy concerns and financial burden. Isolation barriers are also a concern for single-income families.

“The County of San Diego’s T3 strategy has emphasized the importance of testing, tracing and treatment to mitigate and contain the pandemic,” said Nancy Maldonado, CEO of the Chicano Federation, in a press release.

She added, “With contact tracing as a key element of mitigating COVID-19, it was critical to gauge the perceptions of and barriers to contact tracing among our most impacted communities.”

The report also states, as of Sept. 20, 2020:

  •  44,577 San Diegans have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • 760 San Diegans have died from COVID-19
  • Latino residents make up nearly two-thirds of those cases
  • Nearly half of all COVID-19 associated deaths, although only 34% of county residents identify as Hispanic or Latino

According to the San Diego City College demographic data from last spring, 50% of students identify as Latinx. San Diego City College is formally a Hispanic-Serving Institution.