Bay Area sees racial shift in coronavirus: Positive tests down for Latinos, up for whites

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For the first time since the pandemic hit in full force, coronavirus cases among Latino residents — who for many months have borne the brunt of COVID-19 — are decreasing, while cases among white residents are increasing in parts of the Bay Area.

The trend is emerging weeks after counties began easing restrictions in many places, including reopening indoor dining and increasing capacity at gyms and places of worship. That prompted many residents to let their guard down and expand their social bubbles, county health officials said.

The shift began in at least two Bay Area counties after mid-October, suggesting the third wave of the pandemic could look very different from the previous two, when Black and brown communities were hit with the vast majority of coronavirus cases. And it indicates the virus is more widespread throughout the community, not just concentrated in certain pockets.

That’s a striking contrast for counties that previously recorded an overwhelming number of coronavirus cases and deaths among low-income Black and Latino residents, underscoring deep-rooted health and racial inequities. These inequities, which played out across the country, prompted California officials to implement a health equity metric in October that tracks how effectively counties are fighting the …

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