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How COVID-19 is impacting people of color in every state

  • How COVID-19 is impacting people of color in every state

    COVID-19 has disproportionately affected communities of color across the United States because of social inequalities and inequalities in the health care system that have existed for a long time.

    Minorities are more likely than whites to lack health insurance and have less access to health care. And some people of color may be more distrustful of the health care system. People of color are also more likely than whites to have underlying health conditions such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity that predispose them to complications from COVID-19.

    Certain minority groups are disproportionately represented in occupations that are considered essential, such as health care workers; grocery store, delivery, and public transportation employees; and farm and factory workers.

    To do a deep dive into the demographics of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the country, Stacker consulted the COVID Racial Data Tracker, a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. The COVID Racial Data Tracker compiles race and ethnicity data reported by state health departments and organizes this data into standardized labels; data in this story is cumulative as of Dec. 13, 2020. The story also uses the COVID Racial Data Tracker’s Infection and Mortality charts, which show how different racial groups are disproportionately impacted from state to state.

    Forty-eight states and Washington D.C report demographic data for both COVID-19 cases and deaths. But North Dakota only reports demographic data for COVID-19 cases, and New York only reports demographic data for deaths. And New York City reports demographic data separately from the rest of New York State. The COVID Tracking Project has combined these figures. Cases and deaths in each state have been population-adjusted and compared to the overall state populations for each race/ethnicity using the Census’ American Community Survey, 2018 five-year estimates.

    For states with lower case and death counts, such as some in the Midwest, race figures may suffer from small numbers, or the belief that small samples should resemble the population from which they are taken. These figures are marked with asterisks on the slide charts. Some states categorize their Hispanic or Latino population as a racial group, while some categorize it as an ethnic group; in this story, it has been standardized to the same combined categories—white alone, Black alone, Asian alone, Hispanic or Latino, and so on—used by the COVID Tracking Project.

    Continue reading for a look at how COVID-19 is impacting people of color in every state.

    Editor's note: Betsy Ladyzhets, a research associate at Stacker who worked on this story, volunteers for the COVID-19 Tracking Project.

    Understanding COVID-19 with Stacker:
    From Wuhan to the White House: A timeline of COVID-19’s spread
    How vaccines get made and approved in the US
    15 ways doctors are now treating COVID-19
    27 factors that make you vulnerable to COVID-19
    35 COVID-19 symptoms to be aware of

  • Alabama

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 295,631 total cases (6,077 per 100,000 population)
    - 4,102 total deaths (84 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,738 cases per 100K, 63 deaths per 100K
    --- 68.2% of state population, 30.7% of cases, 50.9% of deaths
    - Black: 3,958 cases per 100K, 95 deaths per 100K
    --- 26.6% of state population, 17.3% of cases, 29.9% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 4,781 cases per 100K, 45 deaths per 100K
    --- 4.2% of state population, 3.3% of cases, 2.2% of deaths
    - Asian: 1,616 cases per 100K, 22 deaths per 100K
    --- 1.3% of state population, 0.4% of cases, 0.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 42.3% of cases, 0.0% of deaths

    On Nov. 20, the University of Alabama at Birmingham announced that the school’s Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center had received a grant from the National Institutes of Health RADx-UP program to increase acceptance of and access to COVID-19 testing in communities of color in Jefferson County. The three components of this initiative are pre-testing engagement with the community; mobile testing in underserved areas; and culturally appropriate post-testing follow up.

  • Alaska

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 41,143 total cases (5,571 per 100,000 population)
    - 176 total deaths (24 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,517 cases per 100K, 13 deaths per 100K
    --- 64.8% of state population, 29.3% of cases, 34.7% of deaths
    - Black: 4,522 cases per 100K, 29 deaths per 100K
    --- 3.3% of state population, 2.7% of cases, 4.0% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 4,237 cases per 100K, 8 deaths per 100K
    --- 6.9% of state population, 5.3% of cases, 2.3% of deaths
    - Asian: 3,306 cases per 100K, 39 deaths per 100K
    --- 6.3% of state population, 3.7% of cases, 10.2% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 7,524 cases per 100K, 61 deaths per 100K
    --- 14.4% of state population, 19.5% of cases, 36.9% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 12,894 cases per 100K, 124 deaths per 100K
    --- 1.2% of state population, 2.8% of cases, 6.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 22.5% of cases, 2.8% of deaths

    Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in Alaska, who mostly live in Anchorage, have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. The Polynesian community in Alaska is very close-knit—gathering for worship or celebration and greeting each other with a hug are important cultural traditions. Community leaders have been working with state and local health officials to produce educational videos in Tongan and Samoan about how to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

  • Arizona

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 408,442 total cases (5,880 per 100,000 population)
    - 7,357 total deaths (106 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,311 cases per 100K, 61 deaths per 100K
    --- 77.2% of state population, 30.3% of cases, 44.8% of deaths
    - Black: 3,879 cases per 100K, 70 deaths per 100K
    --- 4.4% of state population, 2.9% of cases, 2.9% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 5,458 cases per 100K, 99 deaths per 100K
    --- 31.1% of state population, 28.9% of cases, 29.1% of deaths
    - Asian: 1,997 cases per 100K, 34 deaths per 100K
    --- 3.3% of state population, 1.1% of cases, 1.1% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 6,881 cases per 100K, 245 deaths per 100K
    --- 4.5% of state population, 5.2% of cases, 10.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 27.3% of cases, 10.1% of deaths

    On Nov. 14, Navajo leaders in Arizona ordered a three-week lockdown because of uncontrolled spread of the virus on the tribe’s reservation. On Dec. 3, that order was extended until Dec. 28, with the possibility that it could be extended yet again if necessary.

  • Arkansas

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 185,702 total cases (6,209 per 100,000 population)
    - 2,945 total deaths (98 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 5,024 cases per 100K, 92 deaths per 100K
    --- 77.0% of state population, 62.3% of cases, 71.6% of deaths
    - Black: 7,050 cases per 100K, 102 deaths per 100K
    --- 15.4% of state population, 17.5% of cases, 15.9% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 10,766 cases per 100K, 54 deaths per 100K
    --- 7.3% of state population, 12.7% of cases, 4.0% of deaths
    - Asian: 3,799 cases per 100K, 45 deaths per 100K
    --- 1.5% of state population, 0.9% of cases, 0.7% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 2,570 cases per 100K, 35 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.7% of state population, 0.3% of cases, 0.2% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 37,282 cases per 100K, 627 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.3% of state population, 1.6% of cases, 1.7% of deaths
    - Unknown: 11.5% of cases, 5.9% of deaths

    Arkansas is the second largest poultry-producing state in the U.S. COVID-19 outbreaks have been a significant problem in meatpacking plants in Arkansas, where the majority of employees are Hispanic or Latino. On Dec. 8, workers at a George’s poultry plant in Springdale staged a walkout in protest of unsafe COVID-19 conditions.

  • California

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 1.6 million total cases (3,964 per 100,000 population)
    - 20,969 total deaths (54 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 941 cases per 100K, 27 deaths per 100K
    --- 60.1% of state population, 14.3% of cases, 30.6% of deaths
    - Black: 2,007 cases per 100K, 66 deaths per 100K
    --- 5.8% of state population, 2.9% of cases, 7.1% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 4,227 cases per 100K, 65 deaths per 100K
    --- 38.9% of state population, 41.5% of cases, 47.3% of deaths
    - Asian: 1,194 cases per 100K, 43 deaths per 100K
    --- 14.3% of state population, 4.3% of cases, 11.5% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 1,154 cases per 100K, 22 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.8% of state population, 0.2% of cases, 0.3% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 3,957 cases per 100K, 66 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.4% of state population, 0.4% of cases, 0.5% of deaths
    - Unknown: 27.7% of cases, 1.0% of deaths

    According to the California Latino Economic Institute, almost 12% of Latinos in the state lack health insurance, and many work multiple jobs, so COVID-19 has been particularly devastating for the Hispanic and Latino population. At the beginning of October, the state enacted a health equity requirement that would require California’s 35 largest counties to reduce novel coronavirus test positivity rates in vulnerable communities, which are mostly Black and Latino. The counties would also have to increase testing, contact tracing, and education efforts.

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  • Colorado

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 288,193 total cases (5,210 per 100,000 population)
    - 3,958 total deaths (72 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,308 cases per 100K, 52 deaths per 100K
    --- 84.2% of state population, 37.3% of cases, 61.7% of deaths
    - Black: 3,414 cases per 100K, 69 deaths per 100K
    --- 4.1% of state population, 2.7% of cases, 4.0% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 7,210 cases per 100K, 73 deaths per 100K
    --- 21.4% of state population, 29.6% of cases, 21.8% of deaths
    - Asian: 2,153 cases per 100K, 56 deaths per 100K
    --- 3.1% of state population, 1.3% of cases, 2.4% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 2,856 cases per 100K, 35 deaths per 100K
    --- 1.0% of state population, 0.5% of cases, 0.5% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 10,427 cases per 100K, 96 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.1% of state population, 0.3% of cases, 0.2% of deaths
    - Unknown: 26.2% of cases, 6.4% of deaths

    In March 2020, the Latin Community Foundation of Colorado launched Ayuda Colorado, an initiative designed to support nonprofit organizations that serve the Latino population. And on Dec. 2, the Colorado state legislature passed Senate Bill 1, a $57 million relief package that includes $4 million set aside for minority-owned businesses.

  • Connecticut

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 146,761 total cases (4,098 per 100,000 population)
    - 5,363 total deaths (150 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 1,652 cases per 100K, 144 deaths per 100K
    --- 76.4% of state population, 30.8% of cases, 73.3% of deaths
    - Black: 3,203 cases per 100K, 196 deaths per 100K
    --- 10.6% of state population, 8.3% of cases, 13.8% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 4,544 cases per 100K, 89 deaths per 100K
    --- 15.7% of state population, 17.4% of cases, 9.3% of deaths
    - Asian: 1,020 cases per 100K, 37 deaths per 100K
    --- 4.4% of state population, 1.1% of cases, 1.1% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 2,433 cases per 100K, 21 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.3% of state population, 0.2% of cases, 0.0% of deaths
    - Unknown: 36.5% of cases, 1.1% of deaths

    On Nov. 6, James Michel, CEO of Access Health CT, the state’s health insurance marketplace, told the Hartford Courant that Blacks and Latinos are the hardest groups to reach when engaging with potential clients. Michel, who is Black, attributed these difficulties to a mistrust of the health care system among people in these communities. But reaching people of color who may lack health insurance is particularly important during COVID-19. To address issues of mistrust, Access Health CT analyzed census data to identify local organizations and churches that can encourage members to choose a health plan during open enrollment, which lasts until Dec. 15.

  • Delaware

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 45,460 total cases (4,788 per 100,000 population)
    - 816 total deaths (86 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 3,052 cases per 100K, 83 deaths per 100K
    --- 69.0% of state population, 44.0% of cases, 66.8% of deaths
    - Black: 5,249 cases per 100K, 97 deaths per 100K
    --- 22.1% of state population, 24.2% of cases, 24.9% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 9,775 cases per 100K, 61 deaths per 100K
    --- 9.1% of state population, 18.6% of cases, 6.5% of deaths
    - Asian: 2,255 cases per 100K, 5 deaths per 100K
    --- 3.9% of state population, 1.8% of cases, 0.2% of deaths
    - Unknown: 5.6% of cases, 0.1% of deaths

    On Dec. 8, Delaware’s department of health and social services provided emergency financial assistance to eligible households in response to the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases in the state, particularly among people of color. Emergency financial assistance, particularly through the state’s SNAP program, has been provided to eligible recipients since the end of March.

  • Florida

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 1.1 million total cases (5,466 per 100,000 population)
    - 20,133 total deaths (98 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,226 cases per 100K, 66 deaths per 100K
    --- 75.4% of state population, 30.7% of cases, 50.7% of deaths
    - Black: 4,313 cases per 100K, 103 deaths per 100K
    --- 16.1% of state population, 12.7% of cases, 17.0% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 6,622 cases per 100K, 94 deaths per 100K
    --- 25.2% of state population, 30.5% of cases, 24.3% of deaths
    - Unknown: 19.5% of cases, 3.9% of deaths

    Black Floridians have about twice the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from COVID-19 per 100,000 people than white residents. And Hispanics and Latinos have about three times the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people compared to whites. A researcher at Florida International University is conducting a study to identify factors keeping low-income people of color from getting tested for the coronavirus, and ways to overcome these barriers.

  • Georgia

    State COVID-19 statistics as of Dec. 13:
    - 476,044 total cases (4,623 per 100,000 population)
    - 10,076 total deaths (98 per 100K)

    Demographic breakdown:
    - White: 2,948 cases per 100K, 80 deaths per 100K
    --- 59.0% of state population, 37.7% of cases, 48.3% of deaths
    - Black: 4,003 cases per 100K, 109 deaths per 100K
    --- 31.5% of state population, 27.2% of cases, 35.1% of deaths
    - Hispanic or Latino: 5,928 cases per 100K, 57 deaths per 100K
    --- 9.4% of state population, 12.1% of cases, 5.5% of deaths
    - Asian: 2,301 cases per 100K, 41 deaths per 100K
    --- 3.9% of state population, 1.9% of cases, 1.6% of deaths
    - Native American or Alaska Native: 893 cases per 100K, 30 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.3% of state population, 0.1% of cases, 0.1% of deaths
    - Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 7,416 cases per 100K, 115 deaths per 100K
    --- 0.1% of state population, 0.1% of cases, 0.1% of deaths
    - Unknown: 18.4% of cases, 9.1% of deaths

    The Urban League of Greater Atlanta continues to provide virtual educational assistance and financial counseling to help Black residents of Atlanta during COVID-19. And the Hispanic Alliance of Georgia is providing food and financial assistance to Latino families affected by unemployment or illness due to COVID-19.