A new study shows that coronavirus cases are higher in Georgia counties where more African Americans are living, despite factors like poverty, health insurance and population density.
The Morehouse School of Medicine study, which used data from the Georgia Department of Public Health, indicates an increase of 1 percent in the population of Black people represented a 2.5 percent increase of confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. With an adjustment for the three factors, the number saw almost no change at 2.3 percent.
“We found the percent of Black residents in the county had a statistically significant relationship with COVID-19 confirmed case rates, but percent uninsured, percent living in poverty and population density did not have this relationship,” Anne Gaglioti, associate director for research at the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine told the AJC.
The data, however is incomplete because public health officials have not reported the racial category of everyone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
A separate study done by epidemiologists and AIDS research organization amFAR found that American counties with larger Black populations represented 22 percent of the nation’s counties overall, but 52 percent of coronavirus cases and 58 percent of coronavirus deaths.
“These findings demonstrate the importance of collecting and reporting COVID-19 positive cases and deaths by race and ethnicity,” Dominic Mack, a professor of family medicine at Morehouse, told the AJC. “Recognizing that this crisis is hitting communities differently, this study should guide resource allocation for screening, testing and treatment in Georgia.”
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus, and contact your local health department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.