Photo Stories: • Covid-19 - Seattle's Chinatown: ICHS-Pacific-Islander-testing-73120-2521

Frances Pele, age 12, whose family is from Samoa, looks at nurse practitioner Tess Sorbo, as she is about to be tested for COVID-19. A COVID-19 drive thru and walk-in testing site was held for people within the Asian American Pacific Islander community in collaboration with International Community Health Services at Federal Way High School Federal Way, Washington on July 31, 2020. A recent report by the the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) analyzing COVID-19 data highlight the pandemic’s disproportionate and increasing impact on communities of color. Case rates over the pandemic for Hispanic people and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander people are nine times higher than those of White people. Hospitalization rates are seven times higher for Hispanics and ten times higher for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders than those of White people. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the health inequities historically marginalized and oppressed communities already experience,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer at DOH. “These data are deeply concerning and underline the critical need to address the COVID-19 impacts we’re currently seeing by prioritizing outreach, testing, education and related materials for disproportionately impacted communities in ways that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and accessible.”Joseph Seia from the Pacific Islander Community Association, “We have the highest infection rates, highest hospitalization rates. Not just here in Washington State for Pacific Islanders, but throughout this, the country and places like California, Oregon, Arkansas. And so we know our communities as most impacted during this crisis because of decades of health disparities, and systems that are unresponsive to Pacific Islander community health needs.”

Frances Pele, age 12, whose family is from Samoa, looks at nurse practitioner Tess Sorbo, as she is about to be tested for COVID-19. A COVID-19 drive thru and walk-in testing site was held for people within the Asian American Pacific Islander community in collaboration with International Community Health Services at Federal Way High School Federal Way, Washington on July 31, 2020. A recent report by the the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Bellevue-based Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) analyzing COVID-19 data highlight the pandemic’s disproportionate and increasing impact on communities of color. Case rates over the pandemic for Hispanic people and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander people are nine times higher than those of White people. Hospitalization rates are seven times higher for Hispanics and ten times higher for Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders than those of White people. “We know the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the health inequities historically marginalized and oppressed communities already experience,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer at DOH. “These data are deeply concerning and underline the critical need to address the COVID-19 impacts we’re currently seeing by prioritizing outreach, testing, education and related materials for disproportionately impacted communities in ways that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and accessible.” 

Joseph Seia from the Pacific Islander Community Association, “We have the highest infection rates, highest hospitalization rates. Not just here in Washington State for Pacific Islanders, but throughout this, the country and places like California, Oregon, Arkansas. And so we know our communities as most impacted during this crisis because of decades of health disparities, and systems that are unresponsive to Pacific Islander community health needs.”