COVID-19 infection rates higher in minorities, new study finds

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A new study by UAMS finds that COVID-19 infections were “abnormally higher” in minority communities.

Mississippi County Health Officer Dr. Valencia Andrews-Pirtle said she had seen the pattern in her office since the pandemic began.

“It was probably around 70% (minority),” Dr Andrews-Pirtle said when asked about the rate of patients she was seeing.

Dr. Andrews-Pirtle mentioned that the high infection rate among black and Hispanic communities is caused by multiple factors, including the inability to work from home, lack of access to affordable health care and disparities food.

“These people who couldn’t do that in their job were there with other people, so the disease spread easily among other people,” she said.

The Mississippi County health official said those groups could again be vulnerable to high infection rates if Arkansas sees another spike in cases.

She added that the best way to protect yourself is to wear masks in large indoor venues with people, including concerts and sporting events.

If you are uninsured or need affordable health care for COVID-19, you can go to a local low-rate health facility or go to your county health department.

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