Blacks, Latinos Bear Brunt of NJ’s COVID-19 Cases

By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH

NEWARK – African-Americans and Latinos are statistically bearing the brunt the COVID-19 cases and deaths in New Jersey, facts that are repeating itself across the country related to race and the coronavirus.

Statistics produced Monday by the New Jersey Department of Health revealed that Latinos and Black are making up nearly half of the coronavirus cases in New Jersey (47.7 percent), even though both populations represent 35.6 percent of the state population.

The statistics were posted by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice Thursday.

That total doesn’t not include “Others” total (11.2 percent), which health department said includes other races and cases where the race was not clearly known, so the total of African-Americans and Latinos could be hire.

READ: Open Letter to NJ D2 Congressional Candidates: Address Healthcare Disparities

As far as confirmed cases, Latinos make up 30.1 percent of those diagnosed with the coronavirus, although they are 20.6 percent of the New Jersey population. Blacks make up 17.6 percent of the cases, but only 15 percent of the state’s population.

Whites make up 54.9 percent of the population, but only 36.1 percent of the confirmed coronavirus cases.

Blacks and Latinos make up 37.7 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths, which is closer to the community’s proportion to the state population. “Others” comprise of 3.4 percent of the deaths.

“Due to generations of structural racism, communities of color tend to have higher rates of underlying conditions, are more likely to work in frontline jobs that don’t allow social distancing, and are less likely to have access to adequate healthcare,” NJISJ said in a statement Friday to Front Runner New Jersey.com. “These factors add up to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on these communities, and shine a light on the short and long term systemic reform that is necessary and that needs to start now.”

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has recently acknowledged the fact the coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on minority communities.

Graphic courtesy of New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Data from the New Jersey Department of Health

“The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging; however, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups,” the CDC says on its website.

“A recent CDC MMWR report included race and ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed COVID-19 found that 45 percent of individuals for whom race or ethnicity data was available were white, compared to 55 percent of individuals in the surrounding community. However, 33 percent of hospitalized patients were black compared to 18 percent in the community and 8 percent were Hispanic, compared to 14 percent in the community,” the CDC said.

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