Death disparity among black COVID-19 patients explained

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ST. LOUIS – The COVID-19 Regional Response Team (C19RRT) says PPE is still one of the biggest needs for groups across St. Louis. Those results came from the responses from nearly 400 agencies the group surveyed.

The C19RRT has been taking the lead on the centralized response to help meet these social needs for the bi-state area.

The need for PPE comes as the numbers slowly rise, and testing increases.

This week also marked St. Louis surpassing more than 2,600 COVID-19 patients being discharged from area hospitals. The area hospitals that are part of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force discharged 21 patients yesterday alone.

Yesterday, the Task Force presented data showing the death disparity the virus is having on black communities.

The data shows the death rate in hospitalizations is greater for blacks, with 47 COVID deaths for every 100,000 people in the black community. There are 13 COVID deaths for every 100,000 members in the non-black community.

The C19RRT is lead by Jason Purnell, PhD, MPH.

He explained to FOX2Now that there are a number of factors for the death disparity. He says among them are the fact that African Americans are over represented in what are now being called essential positions.

Also, he said there is a long legacy of residential segregation in places like St. Louis, less access to affordable housing, less access to quality housing, more crowding in housing, and less of an ability to isolate and quarantine.

“Really, the African American community was ripe for this particular virus because of the ways that resources are not equitably distributed through a region like St. Louis and other metropolitan areas,” said Purnell.

Purnell said there was also more of a burden of some of the underlying conditions that make more severe cases of COVID-19 more likely. 

Related Content: Death rate 3 times higher for black COVID-19 patients

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You can learn more about the C19RRT efforts here: https://c19rrt.org/

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