LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s plan to safely reopen its economy will begin to require counties to bring down coronavirus infection rates in disadvantaged communities that have been harder hit by the pandemic.
The complex new rules announced late Wednesday set in place an “equity metric.” It will force larger counties to control the spread of COVID-19 in areas where Black, Latino and Pacific Islander groups have suffered a disproportionate share of the cases because of a variety of socioeconomic factors.
The equity measure will require that positive test rates in its most disadvantaged neighborhoods, where rates are often much higher, do not significantly lag behind the county overall.
Health officials in San Diego, Orange and San Francisco counties said they already have been targeting vulnerable communities with testing for the virus, providing interpreters and taking other measures to address inequality.
Supporters of a more rapid reopening criticized the measure.