SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — As infection numbers drop and San Francisco moves into the yellow tier of reopening, the Latino community continues to be concerned.
“Moving to yellow to me is just another color,” said Roberto Hernandez, a member of the COVID-19 Latino Task Force who has helped turned a community center into a food bank and testing center called the Mission Food Hub.
“The fact is that the majority of people who are infected are Latinos and, so, we need to not let our guards down,” Hernandez said.
Health officials say it is still the case that Latinos make up half the positive cases in San Francisco but the overall infection rate is down.
“In July, our positivity rate among people who identified as Latinos who were testing was 13%, that then has gone down to 7% in September and, in early October, it’s now down to 3%,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health. “But we still have a considerable amount of work to do.”
Hernandez said a lot of Latinos are still vulnerable, still working indoors in cramped conditions and still going home to large multi-generational households.
“As the businesses start opening up, Latinos are the frontline workers and, guess what? Those who have been at home are gonna come out and if they’re infected they’re going to pass, you know, the virus to our community. So it’s important that we all work collectively together and continue doing this work and not think it’s over.“
The city has increased testing and contact tracing but the administrators at the Mission Food Hub say now is the time to increase it even more. Dr. Colfax is pledging vigilance.
“We need to take those prevention measures we need the testing capacity to continue to expand in the Latino community so that we’re doing everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Colfax said.