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Hispanic community disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, St. Louis County data shows

Hispanic people are three to five times more likely to test positive for the virus in the county
Credit: AP
FILE - Vials containing nasal swabs collected at a COVID-19 drive-through testing site are dropped into a plastic bag. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ST. LOUIS — Hispanic people in St. Louis County are disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Executive Sam Page cited county data that shows, compared to the overall county population, Hispanic people are three to five times more likely to test positive for the virus. 

Page said the county is not sure exactly what is behind the trend but said it's possible that Hispanic people are more likely to work in service-related jobs on the frontline of the pandemic.

"Some of our residents are more likely to live in homes with family members or extended family members in closer quarters," Page added during his briefing Wednesday morning. "We also have concerns there may be language barriers, so our Hispanic community may not be able to understand services are available or have complete access to those services."

Page announced that the county health department will test residents if they do not have photo identification at its two sites. People only need to have a piece of printed material with addresses listed, so the health department can follow up with test results.

RELATED: St. Louis County health department offering free COVID-19 testing at 2 sites

The county is also in the process of translating the county's testing request form into Spanish and the county's website can also be translated into Spanish with the Google translate feature.

"We are reviewing all of our efforts of outreach in this community with services and information," Page said.

Leaders among the Hispanic community said they are working on outreach programs, too. 

Casa de Salud is providing free COVID-19 testing and telehealth services.

"We look forward to working with St. Louis County in addressing the long-standing inequities of our region and making sure that everyone has the information they need to slow the spread of the virus in all communities," said Casa de Salud Executive Director Diego Abente.

To watch the county's entire COVID-19 briefing:

County Executive Dr. Sam Page Press Conference

County Executive Dr. Sam Page addresses the media

Posted by County Executive Sam Page on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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