How Does COVID Impact My Community?

COVID-19 has deeply impacted everyone’s lives, but it’s hit some communities incredibly hard. 

You’ve likely seen it reported on the news. Minority, immigrant, and low socioeconomic communities experience a disproportionate amount of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the disease (1, 2, 3). Gender and sexually diverse populations and individuals with disabilities are also profoundly impacted (4, 5). For these communities, long-standing social issues that are challenging in normal times have only been amplified by this health crisis (6). COVID-19 has led to greater unemployment, loss of wages and insurance, reduced access to medical care, food insecurity, and greater social stigma (7, 8, 9, 10).

Why is the impact of COVID-19 greater for certain populations?


People of color and low-income populations are overrepresented in essential work industries (8, 11, 12).


Most essential workers do not feel safe at work (60%), are unable to practice social distancing (71%), and experience increased stress (86%).13 Low wage workers are the most likely to report inadequate employer safety practices in regards to COVID safety training, face masks, hand sanitizer, and access to handwashing (13).


People of color and low-income populations are substantially more likely to live in crowded housing and multigenerational home (14, 15, 16, 17). The current housing crisis is only going to exacerbate this issue.


People of color and low-income populations experience a higher burden of preventable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cirrhosis, and certain types of cancer, which are risk factors for COVID-19 (8, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23).


People of color and low-income populations have lower access to health care, which is exacerbated by lack of medical insurance or being underinsured (7, 10, 25).


Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people, immigrants, low wage earners, part-time workers, and Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual individuals have low access to paid sick leave and medical leave (25, 26).


People of color and low-income populations are more likely to rely on public transportation (27).


Asian and Black Americans are more likely than Whites and Latinxs to report negative experiences because of their race/ethnicity since the beginning of the pandemic (7). They have encountered greater racial slurs, suspicion, and concern that someone might hurt them (7).


People of color, immigrants, non-English speakers, and individuals with low socioeconomic status tend to have lower health literacy (28).

There’s an urgent need to reduce the physical and social consequences of COVID for these communities. As a nation, we strive to promote health equity for all (29). Health equity is rooted in the idea that everyone deserves the opportunity to reach optimal health (6). Health inequities are unnecessary, avoidable, and unfair, (30) but they don’t have to remain this way.

We need your help so we can protect those who have been hit the hardest in Nevada. Help achieve health equity for all with OneCommunity.

  1. Southern Nevada Health District. (2020, November 5). 20201105 Daily aggregate COVID19.
  2. Poulson, M., Neufeld, M., Geary, A., Kenzik, K., Sanchez, S. E., Dechert, T., & Kimball, S. (2021). Intersectional disparities among Hispanic groups in COVID-19 outcomes. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 23, 4–10.
  3. APM Research Lab. (2020). The color of coronavirus: COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S.
  4. Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equity (2020). Second Open Letter on COVID-19 Focuses on Nondiscrimination, Data Collection, and Economic Harm for LGBTQ Communities.
  5. GGrote, H., & Izagaren, F. (2020). Covid-19: The communication needs of D/deaf healthcare workers and patients are being forgotten. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 369, m2372.
  6. Braveman, P. A., Kumanyika, S., Fielding, J., LaVeist, T., Borrell, L. N., Manderscheid, R., & Troutman, A. (2011). Health disparities and health equity: The issue is justice. American Journal of Public Health, 101(S1), S149–S155.
  7. Ruiz, N. G., Horowitz, J. M., & Tamir, C. (2020). Many Black and Asian Americans say they have experienced discrimination amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Pew Research Center.
  8. Guinn Center. (2020) The impact of COVID-19 on communities of color in Nevada.
  9. Gundersen, C., Hake, M., Dewey, A., & Engelhard, E. (2020). Food insecurity during COVID‐ Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 10.1002/aepp.13100.
  10. Cole, B. (2020). The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to health care. National Academy of Social Insurance.
  11. US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. (2020). Profile: Hispanic/Latino Americans.
  12. Figueroa, J. F., Wadhera, R. K., Lee, D., Yeh, R. W., & Sommers, B. D. (2020). Community-level factors associated with racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 rates in Massachusetts: The study examines community-level factors associated with racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 rates in Massachusetts. Health Affairs, 10-1377.
  13. Hammonds, C., Tomaskovic-Devey, D., & Kerrissey, J. (2020). Stressed, unsafe, and insecure: Essential workers need a new, new deal. University of Massachusetts Labor Center and Center for Employment Equity.
  14. Emeruwa, U. N., Ona, S., Shaman, J. L., Turitz, A., Wright, J. D., Gyamfi-Bannerman, C., & Melamed, A. (2020). Associations between built environment, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and SARS-CoV-2 infection among pregnant women in New York City. JAMA, 324(4), 390-392.
  15. McConnell, E. D. (2015). Restricted movement: Nativity, citizenship, legal status, and the residential crowding of Latinos in Los Angeles. Social Problems, 62(1), 141–162.
  16. Lobo, A. P., Salvo, J. J., & Hurley, D. (2012). The confluence of immigrant ethnicity and race in New York: A socioeconomic perspective. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 10(1), 31–53.
  17. Blake, K. S., Kellerson, R. L., & Simic, A. (2007). Measuring overcrowding in housing. Washington, DC: Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.
  18. Vega, W.A., Rodriguez, M.A., Gruskin, E. (2009). Health disparities in the Latino population. Epidemiologic Reviews, 31(1), 99–112.
  19. Cuevas, A. G., Dawson, B. A., & Williams, D. R. (2016). Race and skin color in Latino health: An analytic review. American Journal of Public Health, 106(12), 2131–2136.
  20. Aponte, J. (2017). Health disparities and Hispanics. Hispanic Health Care International: The Official Journal Of The National Association Of Hispanic Nurses, 15(2), 51.
  21. Miller, K. D., Goding Sauer, A., Ortiz, A. P., Fedewa, S. A., Pinheiro, P. S., Tortolero-Luna, G., Martinez-Tyson, D., Jemal, A., & Siegel, R. L. (2018). Cancer statistics for Hispanics/Latinos, 2018. CA: A Cancer Journal For Clinicians, 68(6), 425–445.
  22. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. Hispanic Health.
  23. Hales, C. M., Carroll, M. D., Fryar, C. D., & Ogden, C. L. (2017). Prevalence of obesity among adults and youth: the United States, 2015–2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  24. Tai, D. B. G., Shah, A., Doubeni, C. A., Sia, I. G., & Wieland, M. L. (2021). The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. Clinical Infectious Diseases: An Official Publication Of The Infectious Diseases Society Of America, 72(4), 703–706.
  25. Xia, J., Hayes, J., Gault, B., & Nguyen, H. (2016). Paid sick days access and usage rates vary by race/ethnicity, occupation, and earnings. Institute for Women’s Policy Research. February, 17.
  26. Bartel, A. P., Kim, S., Nam, J., Rossin-Slater, M., Ruhm, C., & Waldfogel, J. (2019). Racial and ethnic disparities in access to and use of paid family and medical leave: Evidence from four nationally representative datasets. Monthly Labor. Review., 142, 1.
  27. Anderson,  M. (2016). Who relies on public transit in the US. Pew Research Center.
  28. Rikard, R. V., Thompson, M. S., McKinney, J., & Beauchamp, A. (2016). Examining health literacy disparities in the United States: a third look at the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). BMC Public Health, 16(1), 975.
  29. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). About Healthy People.
  30. Whitehead, M. (1992). The concepts and principles of equity and health. International journal of health services: planning, administration, evaluation, 22(3), 429–445.