Hispanic employees accounted for nearly 75% off all coronavirus caught at work in Utah – making them three times more likely to catch it than white workers, CDC finds
- The CDC looked at more than 11,000 coronavirus cases throughout Utah between March 6 and June 5
- Of that total, 12% were associated with one of 210 workplace-related outbreaks
- Hispanics make up 24% of Utah’s workforce, but also made up 73% of all COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace
- More than half of the cases were among three industry sectors: manufacturing, wholesale trade and transportation
A greater percentage of Hispanics in Utah fell ill with the novel coronavirus in comparison to their share of the workforce, new report finds.
Only about one-quarter of the state’s workforce is Hispanic, but three-quarters of all workplace-related cases were among Hispanic employees, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Monday.
Additionally, more than half of all workplace COVID-19 outbreaks occurred in three sectors: manufacturing, construction and wholesale trade.
Hispanics make up 24% of Utah’s workforce, but also made up 73% of all COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace. Pictured: Utah Food Bank volunteers bring food to cars waiting in line at the food bank’s mobile food pantry in Salt Lake City, August 12
More than half of the cases were among three industry sectors: manufacturing, wholesale trade and transportation (above)
For the report, the team looked at 11,448 coronavirus cases throughout Utah between March 6 and June 5.
Of that total, 1,389 cases – of 12 percent – were associated with workplace outbreaks, according to the state’s department of health.
The CDC says Hispanic employees make up about 24 percent of the Beehive State’s workforce.
However, Hispanic and nonwhite workers accounted for 73 percent of workplace outbreak-associated COVID-19 cases.
What’s more, these infections occurred at one of 210 workplace outbreaks, with the majority in 15 out of 20 industry sectors.
Most of the workplace outbreaks, 58 percent, occurred in the manufacturing, wholesale trade and construction sectors.
Manufacturing had the greatest shared with one-fifth of all workplace outbreaks being in this sector.
The CDC said these disparities are likely due to health and social inequities between Hispanics (and other minorities) compared to white workers.
Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to work in so-called ‘essential’ jobs with a greater risk for coronavirus exposure than those telecommuting.
Additionally, they have less flexible schedules, affecting their ability to take sick leave if needed and potentially delaying treatment.
Researchers recommend that these industries can be targeted with more guidance and intervention to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
These sectors might also benefit from materials that translate the risk of SARS-CoV-2 for those that don’t speak or read English very well.
‘The overrepresentation of Hispanic and nonwhite workers in frontline occupations has resulted in disproportionate disease incidence among racial/ ethnic minority groups,’ the authors wrote.
‘Care must be taken to ensure that prevention and mitigation strategies are applied equitably and effectively using culturally and linguistically responsive materials, media, and messages to workers of racial and ethnic minority groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19.’