BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Lately, COVID-19 concerns have revolved around kids going back to school, but the virus has continued to affect another population for months.
Looking at the numbers in Brazos County, Hispanic people have disproportionately affected by COVID-19, making up almost half of the cases in the area.
“I think there are several things at play here," Dr. Seth Sullivan, with the Brazos County Health District said, "one, is that many in our Hispanic community have continued to work as essential workers without that luxury to stay home and work on a computer.”
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows large percentages of Hispanic people working in food service and janitorial roles.
Dr. Sullivan said there’s even more to it, though, like living in multi-generational homes.
“If we have a bunch of folks in one room or living in one area, we can see more in that home be affected,” he said.
While they happened in several ethnic groups while the county was still learning about social distancing, parties and gatherings were a factor too.
More importantly, access to healthcare and testing has been a huge hurdle.
Dr. Sullivan said there is a real disparity in access to healthcare among the Hispanic population compared to the Caucasian population in Brazos County.
That healthcare disparity also contributes to Hispanic people being more prone to diabetes and obesity; ailments that can make a COVID-19 case more severe.
Dr. Sullivan said people can help mitigate this issue by spreading the message on how important doing things like social distancing and wearing masks are.
Brazos Valley locals can make an appointment to be tested for free on August 10th through the 12th at the Brazos County Expo Complex.
You can find out how to do so here.