By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – While it’s known that minority communities are being adversely impacted by coronavirus, new research is providing insight on how it’s affecting Latinos in Colorado.

“What we knew early on was that there wasn’t a lot of information around Latinos and COVID,” said Carlos Martinez, President and CEO of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado. “We wanted to better tell the narrative.”

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His organization partnered with nationally-known research company Latino Decisions to conduct the research. There were four areas of focus: health, economic stability, education and concerns that people have around COVID-19 within the Latino community. (Read the study.)

“With respect to the health piece, 44% of Latinos with symptoms reported they were unable to get a test,” Martinez started off explaining. “That’s major.”

The largest risk factor to note, according to Martinez, is the possibility of infecting family members.

“We know that with Latino families, we’re inter-generational families. We don’t have just maybe mom, dad, and two kids living with us. We have grandparents, probably. Sometimes there’s extended family living with us, so the household is much larger than the traditional household.”

The report also highlighted the lack of access to health care benefits.

“When folks don’t have benefits, they may not go to the doctor or emergency room. They may not have the money and it just complicates things.”

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Martinez noted that Latinos make up a large percentage of the workforce. Going forward, it could present a larger economic issue.

“50% of Latinos in Colorado, when COVID hit, they were still going to work like usual. A lot of them are in the service industry, retail industry so they had to go to work. And 70% have either lost or know someone who’s lost their job,” he explained.

The educational element of the study is also complicated, Martinez says.

“A lot of folks are concerned about sending their kids back to school, about 50% of parents aren’t sure if they want to. Many don’t have the technology as others have. Internet isn’t free, and what happens if you have one computer and three children?”

He says, however, help is out there. The Latino Community Foundation of Colorado wants to help people pivot out of crisis. Its focus is on monitories on the whole as well.

“I think it’s going to be imperative not just Latino, but Black and Asian American community that as we look at rebuilding, how do we work together more as a community? The rebuilding a lot of times happens really fast and a lot of times leaves our communities behind. We have to make sure that as we move forward we are not left behind. Because what COVID also did is it really exposed the inequities that we have in our communities and if we’re truly going to be a great state here in Colorado no one can be left behind.”

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To get connected with resources, visit latinocfc.org.

Mekialaya White