Researchers tested 4,160 people for coronavirus in a San Francisco neighborhood. Not a single white person tested positive.

Kathryn Krawczyk

A coronavirus testing project in San Francisco has provided yet another example of how COVID-19 is overwhelmingly affecting people of color.

Diane Havlir, the director of the HIV/AIDS division at the University of California, San Francisco, noticed early in the pandemic that young Latino men were arriving at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with coronavirus symptoms more often than any other demographic. So she conducted a research project that involved testing 4,160 residents of San Francisco's Mission District — and found that not a single white person tested positive, Stat News reports.

Havlir's project focused on a single, 16-square-block census tract in the Mission district, "one of the city's most densely populated and heavily Latinx neighborhoods," Stat News writes. A third of the tract's residents are white, while 58 percent are Hispanic, the U.S. Census estimates. But 95 percent of those who tested positive were Latinx, while no white person in the tract tested positive.

Just like testing and death rates are revealing across the country, "what really comes out of these data is that low-wage essential workers are victims of this disease," Havlir told Stat News. And with 53 percent of those who tested positive showing no symptoms of coronavirus, it's even more clear that allowing workers to stay home only if they feel sick may not be enough to stop the spread. Read more at Stat News.

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