Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States

A suspected coronavirus patient was taken into Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
Desiree Rios/The New York Times

Date Published: April 7, 2020

Source: The New York Times

The infection and death rates from COVID-19 have been disproportionately higher in black Americans. In Illinois, 28% of positive cases of COVID-19 and 43% of deaths have been African-Americans though they only comprise 15% of the state’s population. Other states including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Connecticut have also reported a similar overrepresentation of African-Americans in COVID-19 affected populations. The overrepresentation may be explained by long-standing structural inequalities in social determinants of health ranging from lower employment rates in jobs that have a work-from-home option to higher levels of racial bias when given medical care. However, much of the data on infection rates relating to race have been quite limited and many senators have been calling for collection of more information to inform better care for marginalized communities. 

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Summary by: Grace Xu