Coronavirus: 25% of San Francisco's COVID-19 cases are among Latinos; here's what's being done to help

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Close to 1,200 San Franciscans have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and a big portion of those cases are coming from the 94110 zip code, the Mission District.

"Citywide 25% of positive COVID-19 cases are among Latinos. Although they make up only 15% of the San Francisco population," said San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax.

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Julio Mejia is a TPS (Temporary Protected Status) holder has lived in the U.S for 20 plus years, Mejia has a work permit and employs ten people, he's concerned about his community.

"I don't think this time that some people can benefit and not us. This is not correct. We have to protect everybody in this time especially in this situation is really bad," said Mejia.

District 9 is Supervisor Hilary Ronen has known about these cases for three weeks now.

"We are doing door to door outreach both on the street in the Mission where we know there a large portion of the Latino community. Weekly outreach through Spanish media and working with UCSF to create the first study of its kind," said Ronen.

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Supervisor Ronen points to the overcrowded housing arrangement and Latino community's fear towards government as contributing factors to these numbers. Carecen's (Central American Resource Center) Director Lariza Dugan sees these numbers and directives of a bigger issue.

"They need recognition. The time is now and we have a chance to flatten the curve on the xenophobia and racism that this country is suffering from," said Dugan.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Ronen is also introducing legislation to push for more robust inclusion of the immigrant community in the federal relief package.

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"Are you asking for the immigrant community in our city to receive a stimulus check like everyone else in America is receiving? Absolutely - whatever programs you create for citizens of this county. If I could have it my way we would include every immigrant who is present," said Ronen.

So far San Francisco has three sites booked where testing will begin on Saturday.

Those sites include: Garfield Park, Parque Niños Unidos and Flynn Elementary School.

Ronen is also working to finalize another testing site at Cesar Chavez Elementary.

Tuesday alone, 450 people registered.

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