[Excerpt from front-page article by Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant, 7/13/20]
Amid persistent racial disparities in Connecticut’s COVID-19 outbreak, advocates worry the state will again struggle to protect Black and Latino residents during a potential second wave of the disease this fall.
According to state numbers, Black and Hispanic Connecticut residents are more than three times as likely to have tested positive for COVID-19 as white people, after adjusting for age. Black people are also more than two and a half times as likely to have died from the disease as white people, while Hispanic people are more than one and a half times as likely.
No easy fix
Racial disparities in COVID-19 aren’t just the result of recent policy decisions, experts say. Instead, they owe to decades and centuries of discrimination.
In a recent 47-page report, the New Haven-based group DataHaven described inequities in wealth, income, employment, education, nutrition, housing, obesity, diabetes and access to health insurance that have fueled disparate outcomes during the current pandemic.
“Disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic expose and exacerbate existing social inequities,” the authors wrote. “Prior to the pandemic, communities of color endured disproportionately worse health outcomes and increased mortality as a consequence of decades of structural inequality. The pandemic has made these disparities only more obvious.”