Special Report

How COVID-19 Has Disproportionately Affected Minority Communities In Every State

Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images News via Getty Images

46. Virginia
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (18.8% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 20.8%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 24.7%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Emporia city (279 per 100,000 county residents)
> Emporia city population: White (22.5%); Black (69.7%); AIAN (0.1%); Asian (0.3%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (5.5%)

With a population that is 18.8% Black, Virginia has reported that 20.8% of its confirmed COVID-19 infections are in Black residents. In addition, 24.7% of the people who have died because of the coronavirus were Black. So the Black community is being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus relative to its share of the population. The Latino community, which makes up 9.2% of the state’s population, accounts for 45.0% of the state’s COVID-19 cases and 11.7% of the deaths.

Emporia City, an independent city surrounded by Greensville County, has the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the state, at 279 deaths per 100,000 residents. Its population is 69.7% Black.

Source: David Ryder / Getty Images News via Getty Images

47. Washington
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: American Indian and Alaska Native (1.1% of pop.)
> AIAN share of COVID-19 infections: 1.7%
> AIAN share of COVID-19 deaths: 1.2%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Yakima County (76 per 100,000 county residents)
> Yakima County population: White (43.7%); Black (0.8%); AIAN (3.6%); Asian (0.9%); NHPI (0.1%); Hispanic (48.9%)

The first U.S. case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Washington state on January 21. The state had the highest number of confirmed cases and the highest number of deaths until mid-March, when New York became the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. Until recently, it appeared that Washington had managed to subdue the coronavirus, but the number of new cases has been trending upward over the past month, with the state reporting over 1,000 new cases on some days.

Many of the racial and ethnic groups in Washington have been significantly affected by COVID-19. Black residents make up 3.6% of the state’s population but account for 5.7% of COVID-19 infections and 3.5% of deaths. Latino residents represent 12.5% of the population but account for 46.0% of infections and 13.4% of the deaths. Hawaiian Natives and Pacific Islanders represent 0.6% of the population but account for 3.1% of infections and 1.0% of the deaths.

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

48. West Virginia
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (3.6% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 8.2%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 4.9%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Jackson County (62 per 100,000 county residents)
> Jackson County population: White (97.0%); Black (0.1%); AIAN (0.8%); Asian (0.3%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (0.5%)

West Virginia appeared to have reached a stable state with COVID-19 cases, with reports of new cases below 75 each day, and generally much lower, from April 16 to July 5. But on July 6 and 7 the number of cases spiked at 160.

Although Black residents make up only 3.6% of West Virginia’s population, they account for an 8.2% share of the coronavirus known infections. Black residents account for 4.9% of COVID-19 deaths in the state.

Source: Scott Olson / Getty Images News via Getty Images

49. Wisconsin
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: Black or African American (6.3% of pop.)
> Black share of COVID-19 infections: 20.5%
> Black share of COVID-19 deaths: 24.1%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Milwaukee County (42 per 100,000 county residents)
> Milwaukee County population: White (51.7%); Black (26.1%); AIAN (0.5%); Asian (4.2%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (14.7%)

Confirmed coronavirus cases have been surging in Wisconsin with new infections reaching above 900 on three different days over the past week. Compared to its proportion of the state population, the Black community has seen three to four times as many positive tests and deaths. Black residents represent 6.3% of Wisconsin’s population but account for a 20.5% share of positive COVID-19 tests and represent 24.1% of the coronavirus deaths in the state.

Milwaukee County, which is 26.1% Black, has 41.7 deaths per 100,000 people. As a whole, the state has 14.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Source: William Campbell / Getty Images

50. Wyoming
> Community w/ highest death-to-pop. ratio: American Indian and Alaska Native (2.2% of pop.)
> AIAN share of COVID-19 infections: 22.9%
> AIAN share of COVID-19 deaths: 45.0%
> County with most COVID-19 deaths: Washakie County (62 per 100,000 county residents)
> Washakie County population: White (82.0%); Black (0.0%); AIAN (0.4%); Asian (0.0%); NHPI (0.0%); Hispanic (14.2%)

Wyoming, the nation’s least populous state, is seeing an upward trend in the number of COVID-19 daily infections, with more than 40 new cases on most days in the past week.

American Indians and Alaska Natives account for a much larger share of COVID-19 infections and deaths than their share of the state’s population. Although they represent 2.2% of the state’s residents, they account for 22.9% of infections and 45.0% of the deaths. Latino residents make up 9.8% of the population but account for 16.1% of COVID-19 infections and 10% of the deaths.

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