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In Idaho, Latinos make up about 13% of the population, but according to preliminary state data released Tuesday, Latinos make up 23% of Idaho’s COVID-19 cases where patient ethnicities were known and reported, writes Idaho Press reporter Rachel Spacek. The Idaho Division of Public Health reported the ethnicity of 1,375 COVID-19 patients out of the reported 2,158 cases total. The early ethnicity data reflects a national trend that shows people of color are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 in the U.S. than white people.

“It is alarming, especially when we see ourselves being around 13% and to me (23% of Latinos with the virus) is high,” said Margie Gonzalez, executive director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs.

The Idaho Division of Public Health was only able to confirm the ethnicities of 63% of the state’s COVID-19 cases.

“As I’ve seen the data, I am somewhat concerned because we only know 63% of the patients’ ethnicities,” Gonzalez said. “I think we have parts of the state that have higher concentrations of Hispanic families that chose not to report.”

You can read Spacek's full story here at, or pick up Friday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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