EPA Today

EPA Today Announcements and Events

EPA Today News Briefs page

Community TV News Show

Treasured Memories Obituaries























































































































































































By Jui Sarwate                                                    Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                                    Facebook        Twitter         Blog              
August 20, 2020                                           EPA Today Facebook page Follow epatoday on Twitter EPA Today Blog Icon


Graphic showing covid-19 cases by city in San Mateo County
Graphic courtesy of https://www.smchealth.org/data-dashboard/cases-city

East Palo Alto has become the most pandemic-affected city in San Mateo County with the highest percentage of confirmed COVID-19 cases in relation to its population size.

According to the August 13 update from the San Mateo County Health Department, there are now 771 confirmed cases, which reflect 2.6% of the East Palo Alto population (up from 1% of the population last month). The concentration of cases has jumped higher from a month ago, when there were 111 cases for every 10,000 residents, now 260 cases for every 10,000 residents. Although the surge in cases due to the potential effect of increased socialization were county-wide, the East Palo Alto community continues to experience COVID-19 disproportionately.

In his July 15 briefing, San Mateo County Manager Mike Callagy explained a surge in cases as having “to do potentially with people getting back out there getting to work, socializing, and doing those types of things.” With the opening of indoor businesses, service workers returned to their positions working for restaurants, retailers, and other socially-conducive businesses throughout July and August.

The City of East Palo Alto reports that 55% of their residents are more likely to be employed in service occupations compared to the 27% of residents in the entirety of the county. The report also states that 45% of residents earn lower incomes (in the range of $15,000-25,000) and 10.6% of residents live without health insurance compared to the 4.9% in the rest of the county.

The large percentage of the East Palo Alto population involved in the service industry needing to go back to work correlates with the increase in cases across the city.

East Palo Alto includes a percentage of immigrants that is higher than the San Mateo County average. Additionally, about one-third of East Palo Alto residents speak Spanish, with another four percent who are fluent in another language than Spanish, along with not being fluent in English.

The lack of multilingual, culturally-relevant medical education and general avoidance of healthcare in communities of immigrants, who may fear ramifications of immigration policy, have halted any flattening of the curve.

Coronavirus testing takes place in East Palo Alto on Aug. 21, 8 a.m. to noon
at the Lewis and Joan Platt YMCA's back entrance at 2160 Euclid Ave.

San Mateo County officials urge residents with non-medical, non-emergency questions about the coronavirus can call 211 or 800-273-6222 at any time, day or night. Those calling  from landlines and cellular telephones in San Mateo County are can speak with a  211 operators who can provide translation services available in 180 languages.

Jui Sarwate contributes articles and reports of special interest to East Palo Alto Today.