Buncombe County Latinos Disproportionately Affected By Covid-19

Jun 12, 2020

Latinos now account for more than a quarter of Covid-19 cases in Buncombe County.

The latest figures from the Health and Human Services department shows just over 27-percent of confirmed cases are among the Latinx population. Buncombe County’s Latino/Hispanic population based on the latest census data is 6.7 percent.

Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, interim public health director for Buncombe County, says the disparity is likely due working conditions. 

"Systemic racism plays into the disproportionate impact on black, indigenous and people of color, in terms of where they live and where they work and the frontline jobs they do...sometimes in situations where it's hard to maintain that social distance, so they bear the burden," Mullendore said. 

The stark figure echoes trends playing out statewide and nationally. The Covid Tracking Project reports that in 42 states plus Washington D.C., Hispanics/Latinos make up a greater share of confirmed cases than their share of the population. In eight states, including North Carolina, it's more than four times greater. In North Carolina, Latinos make up 42 percent of confirmed Covid-19 cases.