Meck County reports nearly 1/4 of COVID-19 cases are in Hispanic population, many in younger people

Updated: May. 8, 2020 at 11:37 AM EDT
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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Nearly a quarter of the COVID-19 cases in Mecklenburg County are within the Hispanic population, county leaders say.

Friday, the county reported 1,983 confirmed coronavirus cases and 60 virus-related deaths.

More than 90% of the cases involving the Hispanic population were among those under 60 years old. Other race groups report only 60-65% of confirmed cases involve are among those less than 60 years old.

“We continue to see a disproportionate number of cases in our Latino community,” Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris said. "More infections are among younger Hispanics than in other populations.”

Some factors influencing this trend include:

  • Targeted testing occurring in neighborhoods with lower access to care
  • Higher proportions of Hispanics working in essential jobs that make social distancing difficult
  • Pre-existing disparities in other social and economic determinants of health

Harris says county leaders are working to get COVID-19 news out in Spanish-speaking communities so that residents have the tools they need to protect themselves against the virus.

Characteristics of COVID-19 cases reported to MCPH as of May 3
Characteristics of COVID-19 cases reported to MCPH as of May 3(Mecklenburg County | Mecklenburg County)

Mecklenburg County has removed some of its county-specific restrictions as it moves forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Stay at Home” order specific to Mecklenburg County ended on April 29. From there, the county is aligning align with the state’s order that is in effect until 5 p.m. on May 8.

The county said it is reopening more essential businesses and vehicle access to parks, greenways and nature preserves.

Last week, officials released new data about coronavirus cases in the county. To get detailed maps and graphics showing information concerning Mecklenburg County coronavirus cases, click here.

  • About 3 in 4 reported cases were adults ages 20 to 59 years old.
  • About 1 in 6 reported cases were hospitalized due to their COVID-19 infection. While everyone is at risk for severe COVID-19 complications, reported cases who were older adults (≥ 60 years) were four times more likely to be hospitalized compared to younger individuals.
  • Nearly a quarter of reported cases were Hispanic. More than 90% of these cases were among younger residents (< 60 years), compared to other race groups where only 60-65% are less than 60 years.
  • About 2 in 3 reported cases have met CDC criteria to be released from isolation.
  • During the past week, an average of 57 individuals with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infections were hospitalized at acute care facilities in Mecklenburg County.
  • During the past week, an average of 7.5 percent of individuals who were tested were positive for COVID-19.
  • 58 deaths due to COVID-19 occurred among reported cases:
  1. Almost all deaths were among older adults (≥ 60 years), 3 deaths were adults ages 50 to 59.
  2. All deaths occurred among adults with underlying chronic illnesses.
  3. Nearly 2 out of 3 were non-Hispanic Whites. The disparities in COVID-19 deaths among non-Hispanic Whites is related to differences in race/ethnicity of residents of long-term care (LTC) facilities actively experiencing an outbreak.
  4. More than half of the deaths were connected to active outbreaks at long-term care (LTC) facilities.

Based on publicly available mobility tracking, there has been a sustained increase in social distancing in Mecklenburg County since the Stay at Home Order became effective on March 26, 2020.

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