COVID-19 Cases Heaviest in Poor Neighborhoods

As the coronavirus continues to spread, SF's least advantaged are the hardest-hit.

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread within the city, low-income communities of color are being impacted disproportionately. Bayview-Hunters Point, Japantown, the Tenderloin, and the Mission all have COVID-19 positive rates more than twice San Francisco’s citywide average, according to the latest reports from DataSF.

The new data, current as of July 4, comes as San Francisco sees a mini spike in COVID-19 cases, with new case counts reaching their highest weekly average yet in the final days of June. Still, San Francisco’s recent increase in new cases has been lower than most other Bay Area counties, and far below other parts of the state. 

Randy Shaw, director of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, called attention to the disparities between neighborhoods on Twitter.

DataSF map of COVID-19 cases per capita as of July 4

Bayview-Hunters Point has the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 infection, at 2.7 times the city average. Japantown, which includes the blocks surrounding Geary Boulevard through the Western Addition, has an infection rate 2.5 times the city average, with the Tenderloin and the Mission District close behind. As the above case map shows, per capita COVID-19 cases are heavily concentrated in lower-income neighborhoods in the eastern half of the city, including SoMa, Visitacion Valley, and the Outer Mission. 

City data also illustrates a stark racial divide. Half of the city’s cases are among people who identify as Hispanic or Latino, despite making up 15 percent of the population. White and Asian people, meanwhile, are underrepresented in the number of COVID-19 cases, and Black people are represented at a rate similar to their proportion of the population. However, Asian people account for nearly half of the city’s 50 COVID-19 deaths. 

San Francisco is not alone in these racial disparities. A new data analysis by the New York Times found that across the country, Black and Latino people are about three times more likely to be infected with the coronavirus than white people.

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