The report adds to a growing body of evidence that long-standing health and social inequities have resulted in increased risk for infection and death from COVID-19 among communities of color, the CDC said here
In 79 counties identified as hotspots that also had information on race, 96.2% had disparities in COVID-19 cases in one or more minority racial and ethnic groups between February and June, researchers concluded.
The largest disparities were reported among Hispanic people in hotspot counties (3.5 million people), followed by African Americans (2 million). Asian populations were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in a small number of hotspot counties, but the Asian racial category is broad and further analyses might provide additional insights, the researchers said.
The study did not assess disparities in COVID-19–related deaths because of the lack of available county-level mortality data, but the researchers said existing national analyses show there exists differences in COVID-19 deaths and similar patterns were likely to exist at the county level too.
Apart from long-standing discrimination and social inequities, other factors such as economic and housing policies, employment in meat packing, agriculture, service and health care sectors, and living in multifamily households could increase risk for transmission, the researchers said.