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UCSF Study: High level of COVID-19 spread in Oakland’s Fruitvale District

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – COVID-19’s spread is at a high level in Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

That is according to a doctor from UCSF who conducted a study of people who live in and work in that area.

The results are from a two-day COVID-19 testing event, focusing on the Latinx community in Oakland’s Fruitvale District. 

Nearly 1,200 adults and around 150 children participated in the study. 

“We found that the overall PCR prevalence was about 3%,” UCSF Dr. Alicia Fernandez said.

The PCR prevalence among Fruitvale’s Mayan community members was even more alarming.

“Guatemala immigrants, Mayans specifically, had an even higher rate of PCR prevalence 8%,” Dr. Fernandez said.

By comparison, non-Latinos who participated in the Fruitvale study tested the lowest PCR rate of 0.5%.

“We also find that people who are PCR positive are less likely to have health insurance,” Dr. Fernandez said.

They are also, in some cases, less likely to follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, says Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo.

“When you go to the flea market here in Oakland it is packed. It is packed on Saturday and Sunday on Coliseum Way and 50th avenue. You cannot drive-in, and some of us are not following the rules that we need to follow,” Gallo said. 

“We’re going to continue to work with these incredible partners that are embedded deeply in your community so that we can understand and reach you,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. 

Dr. Fernandez says improving the city’s knowledge of how the pandemic is impacting those who live and work in the Fruitvale is the goal.

“We hope that this testing and data will be used to inform a public health response by the city and our community partners,” Dr. Fernandez said.

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