Mecklenburg County health department says COVID-19 at construction sites is increasing Latino community infections

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gibbie harris
Gibbie Harris

While Latinos are 14 percent of the county’s population, Harris said on May 19 they now make up nearly 35 percent of the county’s cases.

“That number is rising fairly rapidly,” she said during a meeting of the county’s business roundtable advisory group. “And most of these are young Hispanics. We’re seeing a good number in individuals less than 20, but the majority are in the 20-30 age group.”

Broadcaster WFAE quoted her as saying the county “needs to pay attention to” reported outbreaks in construction sites, and that the county plans to increase an educational campaign about social distancing and the important of wearing masks.

Rocio Gonzalez with the Latin American Chamber said during the roundtable meeting that she plans to speak with religious leaders in the Latino community and encourage them to urge people to wear masks.

“There is a big thought that God will protect us and that’s why we should not be wearing masks, because we are protected by God,” Gonzalez said. “I am going to take advantage of being in front of about 30 different clergy and religious organizations to ask if they could please (encourage people to wear masks).”

A Mecklenburg County graphic showing the most recent ethic breakdown of COVID-19 cases

While blacks originally had a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases, the share of non-Hispanic white people and African Americans with COVID-19 have fallen.

However, even though Latinos now being the largest racial or ethnic group with COVID-19, they comprise less than 2% of deaths from the virus.

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