NHPI COVID-19 Effects

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations are disproportionately getting infected with COVID-19 within Riverside County. As of April 2023, the total case rate of COVID-19 among NHPI is 60,822 for every 100,000 NHPI, which is an infection rate exponentially larger than any other ethnic group in Riverside County, caused primarily by the many obstacles to assistance that exist. Total case rates were not provided by San Bernadino County.

More information on Riverside County’s COVID-19 response can be found here:
Riverside County’s COVID-19 Dashboard
More information on San Bernadino County’s COVID-19 response can be found here:
San Bernadino COVID-19 Dashboard

Obstacles to Assistance

Tongan Americans face obstacles that limit their access to government and local assistance. In the face of these barriers, MALO is connecting the Tongan community to local resources and support.

Language Barriers

  • 19% of Tongans in the United States had limited English proficiency (A Community of Contrasts 2014).
  • There are limited translators for the Tongan language for government resources.
  • Individuals cannot access resources like unemployment assistance without translators.

Citizenship Status

  • Government assistance programs cannot reach a large number of foreign-born Tongans because of their citizenship status.
  • 35% of Tongans living in the United States were foreign-born from 2006 to 2010 (A Community of Contrasts 2014).
  • Many individuals have compromised immigration statuses that disqualify them from programs.