COVID-19 infection rates higher in minorities, new study finds

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A new study from UAMS finds that COVID-19 infections were “abnormally higher” in minority communities.

Mississippi County Health Officer Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle said she had seen the pattern in her office since the pandemic started.

“It was probably about 70 percent (minority),” Dr. Andrews-Pirtle said when asked about the rate of patients she was seeing.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle mentioned the high infection rate among Black and Hispanic communities is caused by multiple factors, including the inability to work from home, lack of access to affordable healthcare, and food disparities.

“Those people who could not do that at their jobs were out there with other people so the disease was getting spread easily amongst other people,” she said.

The Mississippi County Health Officer said those groups could be vulnerable to high infection rates again if Arkansas sees another case surge.

She added the best way to protect yourself is to wear masks at large indoor venues with people, including concerts and sporting events.

If you are uninsured or need affordable healthcare for COVID-19, you can visit a local low-rate healthcare facility or go to your county’s health department.

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