Purpose: The purpose of this study was to ascertain COVID-19 transmission dynamics among Latino communities nationally. Methods: We compared predictors of COVID-19 cases and deaths between disproportionally Latino counties (≥17.8% Latino population) and all other counties through May 11, 2020. Adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) were estimated using COVID-19 cases and deaths via zero-inflated binomial regression models. Results: COVID-19 diagnoses rates were greater in Latino counties nationally (90.9 vs. 82.0 per 100,000). In multivariable analysis, COVID-19 cases were greater in Northeastern and Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.11–1.84, and aRR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.57–1.85, respectively). COVID-19 deaths were greater in Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04–1.34). COVID-19 diagnoses were associated with counties with greater monolingual Spanish speakers, employment rates, heart disease deaths, less social distancing, and days since the first reported case. COVID-19 deaths were associated with household occupancy density, air pollution, employment, days since the first reported case, and age (fewer <35 yo). Conclusions: COVID-19 risks and deaths among Latino populations differ by region. Structural factors place Latino populations and particularly monolingual Spanish speakers at elevated risk for COVID-19 acquisition.
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