pregnant during pandemic

Pregnant and Latina is a High-Risk Combination for COVID-19, Health Officials Say

Thirty-two-year-old Christel Duran says her pregnancy is another reason to stay home and follow health safety guidelines.

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Pregnancy during the pandemic puts expecting mothers in one of the higher risk categories when it comes to exposure to COVID-19, and Los Angeles health officials Monday released new findings that ethnicity puts certain women at even greater risk.

Thirty-two-year-old Christel Duran has the nursery all set for the baby, whose name is going to be Gianna Rose.

She's expecting her baby daughter in matter of hours.

"I am 9 months," Duran says. "My due date is actually supposed to be tomorrow."

Duran has all the worries of any first-time mom,  but pregnancy during a pandemic and Duran’s ethnicity, according to health officials, put her in a higher risk category.

Says Duran, "It’s obviously pretty scary being Latino myself and being pregnant is another thing — its just another thing to make sure to stay at home and do everything possible to not have to go out in public if i don’t need to."

The mother-to-be says she feels lucky that she can work from home. But her husband is an essential worker. LA county health officials said Latino families are at greater risk.  They say Latinas make up three out of every four COVID-19 cases among pregnant women.

"We definitely take precautions," Duran says. "He comes home and showers right away, changes his clothes."

More than 800 pregnant women have been infected with COVID-19 in LA County, but only one pregnant woman has died, while no newborns have been diagnosed with the virus.

Duran’s Doctor Paniz Heidari of Dignity Health Northridge says she limits the number of in-patient visits as much as possible.

"We now offer tele-health visits for certain appointments," Heidari says. "In pregnancy, it’s a unique situation, so there’s absolutely times where you do need to go into the office."

At her advanced stage, Duran is now just counting the minutes before she has to go in, hopeful her baby will get home safe.

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