A task force convened to study the disparate impacts of Covid-19 on low-income communities of color in Santa Clara County has turned up 30-plus recommendations.

The Health and Racial Equity Task Force, which was spearheaded by San Jose Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco and Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), focused on four areas: testing and contact tracing, community engagement, worker and neighborhood safety and resident health and well-being.

The San Jose City Council will review the list of recommendations at its Tuesday meeting.

“Racial disparities within health care and health outcomes have long existed in our nation, and the current global pandemic has only further exasperated the negative outcomes,” Carrasco wrote in a memo.

The recommendations include working with the state and county to offer hotel rooms to people in crowded homes who cannot isolate after testing positive or otherwise being at risk for the virus. Task force members also suggest training spokespeople in a variety of languages to better get information to different ethnic groups and asks the city to support federal, state and local efforts to expand rent relief.

“These disparities are apparent in the data on who is being infected and dying from Covid-19,” Carrasco said. “The Santa Clara County Public Health data shows that Santa Clara County’s Black and Latino populations have suffered a disproportionate share of coronavirus cases and deaths.”

As of Aug. 28, African Americans made up 4.17 percent of the county’s 240 recorded Covid-19 deaths while only accounting for 2.36 percent of the population.

Latinos accounted for 32.5 percent of the local death toll while making up 25.78 percent of the county’s population.

Over the last three months, the task force held weekly meetings with community members, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and labor representatives.

To read the full list of recommendations, click here.

The San Jose City Council meets virtually at 11am Tuesday. To connect to the Zoom meeting, click here. To view the full agenda, click here.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

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