Reasons Coronavirus Is Affecting People of Color More

Woman in mask

Coronavirus has so far infected over 1.8 million Americans and unfortunately, people of color are being disproportionately affected by the virus.

Watch: How to Avoid Getting Mask Rash

Multiple reports in The Washington Post identify these issues as factors for higher infection and death rates: 

- Access to health care - which often leads to rates of underlying health conditions

- Residing in densely populated areas in big cities, which has been shown to lead to high rates of asthma in many communities - the CDC has warned that people with asthma may be at a greater risk of dying from coronavirus

- Not having health insurance - a CDC report notes that Black and Latinx Americans are two to three times more likely than white Americans to be uninsured

- A higher percentage of people of color having jobs deemed "essential" and interacting with the public more - which can lead to a higher risk of exposure to the virus

- Poor or false information - at the federal, state and local level

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams has previously spoken out on the problem, saying, "The chronic burden of medical ills is likely to make people of color less resilient to the ravages of COVID-19 and it is possibly, in fact, likely, that the burden of social ills is also contributing." He also added, "In summary, people of color experience ... likely exposure to COVID-19 and increased complications from it. But let me be crystal clear: We do not think people of color are biologically or genetically predisposed to get COVID-19. There is nothing inherently wrong with you."

Read: Flying during Coronavirus: The Risks and How to Reduce Chances of Getting Sick

The Doctors stress the importance of continuing to follow all prevention guidelines: social distancing, routine and frequent handwashing, wearing a mask when in public, the cleaning of high touch surfaces, avoiding people who are sick, and if you are experiencing COVID symptoms or believe you have been exposed, contact your doctor or healthcare provider about getting tested. Find out more information about local COVID-19 testing in your area, including free testing.

Read: Coronavirus: Cleaning Products Approved to Combat COVID-19

*Get more resources, tips, advice, and news on coronavirus/COVID-19 from The Doctors and stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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