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The Unequal Effects of Covid-19

We live in the San Francisco Bay Area for so many great reasons: the weather, the scenery, the hiking, the food. We came for jobs, opportunities and the people. We are known as being friendly, relaxed, and diverse.

The nine-county Bay Area region is the nation’s 2nd most diverse metropolitan area out of the largest 150 regions. People of color make up 59% of the Bay Area’s population: Asians (25%), Latino’s (23%), Black (6%) (1). This is why the unequal effects of Covid-19 on our Bay Area population has been particularly hurtful.

From a just released New York Times article issued July 5 on Racial Inequity of Coronavirus, Latino and African Americans are three times as likely to contract the virus and two times as likely to die from the virus. (2)

People of color are more likely to have chronic health conditions that worsen the impact of a COVID-19 infection. And they are less likely to have access to care that might save their lives per Susan R. Hernandez, President and CEO of California Health Care Foundation. (3)

In our own Bay Area, the SF Mission district Latino population was hit particularly hard in late April. In May, Hayward and the Fruitvale district of Oakland experienced outbreaks. Two factors contribute to these outbreaks: 1) essential workers are less able to work from home 2) many in these neighborhoods live in close living quarters and are unable to social distance, much less quarantine when they become sick.

It Takes A Village Bay Area has chosen to support the medically underserved by focusing on hospitals and health centers whose patients are of primarily Latino and African-American descent since these districts have the most cases and most need. We feel that targeting our donations is our small effort to address both of the great issues we are facing today as a society: the Covid-19 crisis and the struggle for racial equality.

Prior to joining CHCF, Sandra was CEO of The San Francisco Foundation, which she led for 16 years. She previously served as director of public health for the City and County of San Francisco. In February 2018, Sandra was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the Covered California board of directors. In December 2019, she was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the Healthy California for All Commission, which is charged with developing a plan to help California achieve a health care delivery system that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system.

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