Report Details Racial and Ethnic Disparities in SC Resulting from COVID-19

Columbia, SC – A  recently published COVID-19 impact report details the effects of the pandemic and how one organization worked to provide support to minority populations. 

Over the course of the pandemic, PASOs, a community-based organization and part of the Center for Community Health Alignment (CCHA), conducted the following efforts to support health and well-being in Latino and Hispanic communities throughout South Carolina: 

  • 83 in-person outreach events (including COVID-19 informational events), reaching a total of 2,974 community individuals face to face; 
  • 1,573 adults provided with general COVID education and support; 
  • 718 individuals received financial aid to assist with COVID-19 setbacks; and 
  • Over 500 individual community agricultural workers were reached during 10 outreach events that focused on COVID-19 education, navigation of resources, and connection to medical care and vaccines. 
  • 64 Covid-related outreach events held throughout the state, reaching over 1500 community members

PASOs also provided education about the vaccine as well as access to the COVID-19 vaccine; today nearly 60 percent of the Latino and Hispanic population in South Carolina is  vaccinated. This is compared to only about 50 percent of all South Carolinians receiving the vaccination. 

In collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC), PASOs held 56 events across South Carolina to offer testing and vaccination support, including free grocery giveaways and outreach with Latino media partners. The Promotores de Salud de PASOs’ collaboration with DHEC allowed for these events to have better reach in the community by providing COVID-19 education and access to vaccines in places frequented by Latino individuals and families, such as tiendas, panaderías, and peluquerias. In total, PASOs helped 694  adults and 46 children receive the vaccine from April 2020 to April 11th, 2022. 

“PASOs’ efforts to help the Latino community get vaccinated are clear when looking at the data. About 58.7 percent of the Latino population is vaccinated compared to 53.4 percent of the entire South Carolina population, ” the report notes.

The report also highlights the vast health disparities experienced by Hispanic communities throughout the pandemic. 

“Nationally the Hispanic unemployment rate was 18.1 percent in April 2020. The Hispanic community was also disproportionately impacted by COVID cases and COVID deaths. More than 50 percent of Latinos have a family member who has become ill or died from COVID-19,” the report states. “This community is more likely to work at jobs that require them to be out in public during the pandemic – putting them at higher risk.”

The report explores the introduction of vaccines and their effectiveness in curbing the spread of COVID-19 and its subsequent adverse health challenges. Read more. 

About CCHA 

The Center for Community Health Alignment (CCHA) is a community focused organization within the U of SC Arnold School of Public Health. Our network of partners work alongside community leaders to align efforts addressing health inequities in South Carolina by bringing together three major initiatives: PASOs, the Community Health Worker Institute (CHWI), and Equity through Meaningful Community Engagement (EMCE). CCHA’s work helps drive greater utilization of the available health resources, reduces barriers to critical services and expands community resources, helping build more resilient communities. 

About PASOs

PASOs, meaning “steps” in Spanish, utilizes the Community Health Worker/Promotor model statewide to serve individuals and families and strengthen leadership within Latino communities to advance health education and awareness, advocacy, resource navigation, resource connection and leadership development.  PASOs is also focused on the advancement of the CHW workforce and improving our systems to better reach and serve Latino communities for a healthier and stronger South Carolina.