Double Jeopardy: COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Disparities for Black and Latino Communities in the U.S. (Submitted by OBHE)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed deep-seated inequities in health care for communities of color and amplifies social and economic factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. Recent news reports indicate that the pandemic disproportionately impacts communities of color, compounding longstanding racial disparities.

As of April 15, 2020, case data from CDC show that in COVID-19 cases where race was specified, Blacks, who comprise 13 percent of the total U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018), make up 30 percent of COVID-19 cases; Latinos, who make up 18 percent of the population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018), account for 17 percent of COVID-19 cases.

Similarly, hospitalization rates due to COVID-19 disproportionately affect Blacks (see CDC infographic). Disparities in identified cases and deaths also vary across states, with a disproportionately high percentage of Blacks and Latinos affected as shown below (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2020; CDC, 2020; U.S. Census Bureau).

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