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More than 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Georgia last month were black, CDC study finds

More than 80% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Georgia last month were black, CDC study finds
Posted at 6:08 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 18:08:26-04

ATLANTA, Ga. – A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights how the black population is being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research has shown that African Americans are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus and die as a result.

The CDC and its partners at eight Georgia hospitals conducted a survey of adults who tested positive for the coronavirus and had been admitted in March.

Among 305 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, the CDC says 83.2% were black. Researchers were surprised by the statistics.

“The proportion of hospitalized patients who were black was higher than expected based on overall hospital admissions,” wrote the CDC.

For context, seven of the eight hospitals surveyed were in the Atlanta area. Census data shows an estimated 51% of the city’s population is black or African American.

Public health officials are being advised to prioritize communities most affected by COVID-19.

“Given the overrepresentation of black patients within this hospitalized cohort, it is important for public health officials to ensure that prevention activities prioritize communities and racial/ethnic groups most affected by COVID-19,” wrote the CDC. “Clinicians and public officials should be aware that all adults, regardless of underlying conditions or age, are at risk for serious illness from COVID-19.”

The results of the study come as Gov. Brian Kemp (R) moves to reopen more businesses in Georgia. The state is taking some of the most aggressive actions in the country.

Certain businesses were allowed to open to the public beginning April 24. Those businesses included gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists and estheticians.

Kemp said the businesses had to open with "minimum basic operations." He also added that restaurants would be able to reopen dining rooms beginning April 27.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering