COVID-19 death numbers among LA County’s Latino population continue to get disproportionally worse, prompting calls from leaders to re-evaluate how vaccines are being distributed.
Tuesday the office of LA City Councilman Gil Cedillo will open up another COVID-19 testing site in Echo Park and they’re hoping continued testing and vaccinations will help bring down the numbers in the Latino community described by local leaders as "horrifying."
Nancy Colin says her husband tested positive for COVID on Christmas, and her family has been quarantining ever since because he keeps testing positive — even though he’s long past the symptoms.
"He started feeling a little sick. His throat started hurting," Nancy Colin of Boyle Heights said.
"We asked doctor what’s going on. He said that the virus can stay on the person's body for three months even if he doesn’t have any symptoms and he feels fine."
NBCLA encountered the family a month ago when LAPD officers helped buy back clothes that stolen from the family car. Colin says 10 people live in their four bedroom apartment in Boyle Heights.
Dense neighborhoods are a factor in skyrocketing coronavirus death rates among LA County’s Latinos. Three-point-five deaths per 100,000 were tracked in November. This jumped to 40 deaths per 100,000 in late January. Colin says thankfully no one else at home has so far tested positive besides her husband.
"My kids miss him. They would just see him through the window. We have to clean practically every day whenever he goes to the restroom," she said.
Local leaders are calling for more vaccine sites in communities hit hard by the virus. Last month, warning signs were put up in the district of LA councilmember Cedillo, including Westlake and Pico Union, where COVID deaths are approaching 1,000. His office staff also hopes the new testing site opening Tuesday will help slow the spread.
"If you test positive, say something, that way your family members or anybody around knows and can self quarantine and get tested themselves," said Ricardo Flores, field deputy for council member Cedillo.
Colin said her husband will do another test this week and hopefully finally it will be negative so he can go back to work.
"We didn’t have a nice Christmas. We didn’t have a New Year’s dinner. Everybody in the house, everybody in their own room," she said.