Disparities in incidence of COVID-19 among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in counties identified as hotspots during june 5–18, 2020 — 22 states, February–June 2020
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Disparities in incidence of COVID-19 among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in counties identified as hotspots during june 5–18, 2020 — 22 states, February–June 2020
  • Published Date:

    August 14, 2020

  • Source:
    MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report ; v. 69, early release, August 14, 2020
  • Language:
    English
Filetype[PDF-129.82 KB]


Details:
  • Description:
    What is already known about this topic?: Long-standing health and social inequities have resulted in increased risk for infection, severe illness, and death from COVID-19 among communities of color. What is added by this report?: Among 79 counties identified as hotspots during June 5–18, 2020 that also had sufficient data on race, a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups occurred in almost all areas during February–June 2020. What are the implications for public health practice?: Identifying health disparities in COVID-19 hotspot counties can inform testing and prevention efforts. Addressing the pandemic’s disproportionate incidence among communities of color can improve community-wide health outcomes related to COVID-19. During January 1, 2020–August 10, 2020, an estimated 5 million cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reported in the United States.* Published state and national data indicate that persons of color might be more likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, experience more severe COVID-19–associated illness, including that requiring hospitalization, and have higher risk for death from COVID-19 (1–5). CDC examined county-level disparities in COVID-19 cases among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in counties identified as hotspots, which are defined using algorithmic thresholds related to the number of new cases and the changes in incidence.† Disparities were defined as difference of ≥5% between the proportion of cases and the proportion of the population or a ratio ≥1.5 for the proportion of cases to the proportion of the population for underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in each county. During June 5–18, 205 counties in 33 states were identified as hotspots; among these counties, race was reported for ≥50% of cumulative cases in 79 (38.5%) counties in 22 states; 96.2% of these counties had disparities in COVID-19 cases in one or more underrepresented racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic) persons were the largest group by population size (3.5 million persons) living in hotspot counties where a disproportionate number of cases among that group was identified, followed by black/African American (black) persons (2 million), American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons (61,000), Asian persons (36,000), and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander (NHPI) persons (31,000). Examining county-level data disaggregated by race/ethnicity can help identify health disparities in COVID-19 cases and inform strategies for preventing and slowing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. More complete race/ethnicity data are needed to fully inform public health decision-making. Addressing the pandemic’s disproportionate incidence of COVID-19 in communities of color can reduce the community-wide impact of COVID-19 and improve health outcomes. This analysis used cumulative county-level data during February–June 2020, reported to CDC by jurisdictions or extracted from state and county websites and disaggregated by race/ethnicity. Case counts, which included both probable and laboratory-confirmed cases, were cross-referenced with counts from the HHS Protect database (https://protect-public.hhs.gov/external icon). Counties missing race data for more than half of reported cases (126) were excluded from the analysis.§ The proportion of the population for each county by race/ethnicity was calculated using data obtained from CDC WONDER (6). For each underrepresented racial/ethnic group, disparities were defined as a difference of ≥5% between the proportion of cases and the proportion of the population consisting of that group or a ratio of ≥1.5 for the proportion of cases to the proportion of the population in that racial/ethnic group. The county-level differences and ratios between proportion of cases and the proportion of population were used as a base for a simulation accounting for missing data using different assumptions of racial/ethnic distribution of cases with unknown race/ethnicity. An intercept-only logistic regression model was estimated for each race/ethnicity category and county to obtain the intercept regression coefficient and standard error. The simulation used the logistic regression-estimated coefficient and standard error to produce an estimated mean and confidence interval (CI) for the percentage difference between and ratio of proportions of cases and population. This simulation was done for each racial/ethnic group within each county. The lower bound of the CI was used to identify counties with disparities (as defined by percentage differences or ratio). The mean of the estimated differences and mean of the estimated ratios were calculated for all counties with disparities. Analyses were conducted using SAS software (version 9.4; SAS Institute). Suggested citation for this article: Moore JT, Ricaldi JN, Rose CE, et al. Disparities in Incidence of COVID-19 Among Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic Groups in Counties Identified as Hotspots During June 5–18, 2020 — 22 States, February–June 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 14 August 2020. mm6933e1.htm?s_cid=mm6933e1_w mm6933e1-H.pdf
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