Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities

By David J Corliss, PhD

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Citation

Corliss D. Disparate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities. HPHR. 2022;69. 

Disparate Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities

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Disasters of all kinds often have a particularly severe impact on minorities and other marginalized communities, and COVID-19 has been no exception. There have been reports of high death rates among African American, Native American, immigrants, prison populations and other marginalized groups. This analysis examines the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among different groups. The New York Times COVID-19 database metrics provide the outcomes, using deaths per capita during the first wave of the pandemic. Counties with the highest percent population BIPOC, Indigenous and below the poverty line are compared to those with those with lowest levels. Odds ratios are calculated and compared with published levels for medical risk factors (e.g., chronic lung disease). The two factors most at risk, both with an odds ratio of about 10, are persons of color and cardiac patients. Implications of these results are discussed to advise potential mitigation strategies.

About the Author

David J Corliss, PhD