MODESTO (CBS13) – California announced Monday the state will require counties to bring down rampant coronavirus rates in poorer neighborhoods.

In Stanislaus County, the Latino community makes up the majority of the COVID-19 cases.

Health officials said white residents make up 41% of the population and Latinos 47% of the population. But white residents only make up 21% of COVID-19 infections in the county, and Latinos make up 64%.

The state said for the county to reopen, test positivity rates in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods can’t exceed the county’s overall rate.

Yamilet Valladolid, who has been rallying to help the Latino community in Modesto stay healthy, said she believes the spike in Latino cases is because of money, culture and where each person works.

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“A lot of the work that is being done by Latinos, you cannot do in the comfort of your own home,” she said.

Right now Stanislaus County is still in the state’s purple tier, the most restrictive tier in the state’s four-tier reopening plan.

With such a high Latino population, leaders said it will make it difficult for the county to reopen as quickly and broadly as they would like.

“It is a concern that this could hold us back I think our community has been working towards this in the past couple weeks,” said Kamlesh Kaur, with Stanislaus County Public Health.

Health leaders said the fewer tests that are given out, the higher the positivity rate could be, and fewer Latino community members are getting tested. Undocumented neighbors worry about handing over their information to a government agency.

The county health department said as part of their plan they’ll bring mobile testing units into Modesto and work with community agencies to get information.

Marissa Perlman

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