“Hispanic Texans make up about 40% of the state’s population but 48% of the state’s 5,952 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, according to Department of State Health Services data.
In the Houston region, where COVID-19 hospitalizations surged in June before beginning to decline in recent days, data released by the Harris County health department showed a disproportionate share of those requiring hospital care — as high as 65% of newly hospitalized patients during some weeks in June — were Hispanic, despite the fact they are 44% of the population.
At Memorial Hermann Health System, one of the Houston region’s largest hospital chains, an analysis of emergency room visits shows that far more Hispanics in their 20s, 30s and 40s have showed up at its hospitals with COVID-19 compared with other ethnicities, an indication that the virus is spreading widely among young Hispanic residents and that they may be waiting until they are sicker to seek care, officials said.
Meanwhile, as the Houston Fire Department reports record numbers of patients dying abruptly at home this summer before paramedics can even reach them, Harris County medical examiner data shows that more than two-thirds of those who’ve died at home from confirmed coronavirus infections have been Hispanic.
There are numerous reasons for these disparities, experts say. Hispanic residents are more likely to work in service jobs or live in multigenerational households that make social distancing difficult. They are less likely to have health insurance. And they are more likely to have health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, leaving them more vulnerable to serious illness.”