When it comes to statistics around COVID-19, grim data is revealing that people of color are often disproportionately affected in California, and a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll sheds light on why that might be.
Among employed Californians surveyed, 61% of white respondents said they're able to work at home, compared to 42% of Latinos and 53% of African Americans.
When it comes to their families, 41% of whites say they have immediate family members who work outside the home and have regular contact with others, compared with 51% of African Americans and 54% of Latinos. Among racial minorities, including Asian Americans, a much higher percentage say they are "extremely concerned" about the health of those family members than white respondents do.
The poll results underscore "the stark racial differences in which populations can safely work from home," said IGS co-director Cristina Mora. "Latinos, blacks and their families simply face more contact and more risk than whites."
Epidemiologists say that commuting to work, especially on public transit, and working in places where people congregate near each other increases the likelihood of being infected with the coronavirus.