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Data: COVID-19 Testing and Disparities Among Minorities

By Red Line Project Staff |  @RedLineProject | Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2020

Minorities in Chicago, Nationally Are Disproportionately Contracting and Dying from COVID-19

With such a widespread impact across the globe, COVID-19 has left so much uncertainty among nations. So many are left wondering what differentiates someone from contracting the virus at a more deadly rate than the next person.

It also brings up the question: Who is at the most vulnerable in the world population? Elderly? Immune-compromised individuals? Perhaps, it also has  to do with ethnicity.

Chicago's diversity and the data in the chart below clearly shows that Latinos have the highest amount of cases in the city. Second comes African Americans. Asians, Whites, and other ethnicities are lower on the list of positive cases The fact that the Asian population is substantially smaller than that of the Latino, Black and White population explains the low number cases in the Asian community.

So why is it that African Americans and Latinos are more susceptible to contracting and dying from the virus? According to the CDC, ethnic minorities are the subject of institutional racism which is linked to “a variety of adverse health outcomes and underlying health conditions,” which unsurprisingly puts minorities at a higher risk. Additionally, minorities disproportionately make up the number of essential workers who need to go into work, making them more exposed to getting the virus.

Data also show that Hispanics are three time more likely to not have insurance that white people, while Blacks are twice as likely to not have insurance. Even with insurance, those with better insurance get better healthcare treatment, which is not the insurance most disadvantaged minorities have.

Minorities are at a higher risk for having underlying health condition and not being able to get proper care. This means, if that person does get the COVID-19 they are at a higher risk of it developing into a serious and deadly illness, since their health was already compromised.

It comes as no surprise that minorities come at a disadvantage when being able to protect and care for themselves from the COVID-19. Cases of COVID-19 are still increasing daily and it will be interesting to see how it continues to affect the different ethnic minorities in Chicago. — Fatima Choudry

Have You Tested for COVID-19 Yet?

No symptoms, no problem? That may not be the case. Many studies have revealed that carries with mild or no symptoms are the key  to the spread of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) encourage those at-risk to get tested for COVID-19. Especially if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, or have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive.

COVID-19 testing sites have opened up through out the Chicago area and have been made available to everyone at no cost. While those with doctor’s referrals or symptoms may get tested at other private and public sites.

The chart above shows the number of people who tested for COVID-19 in Chicago and the results. Between April 15 through May 1,  Chicago was averaging 905 new COVID-19 cases a day. In comparison, between May 20  through June 1m there has been an average of 462 new COVID-19 cases in the Chicago area. Although there is a decrease in COVID-19 cases, without precautions there could be another outbreak, experts say.

Although Chicago moved into phase 3 of the stay-at-home order on June 3, it is important to take precautions to limit exposure and follow state safety guidelines. — Brianna Guedes

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