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Black Americans Much More Likely to Have Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19

11 percent of black adults say someone close to them has died; rates are 5 percent among Americans overall

sick patient in hospital bed

MONDAY, June 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans are much more likely than other Americans to say a relative or close friend has died of COVID-19, surveys reveal.

While 11 percent of black adults say someone close to them has died, the rates are 5 percent among Americans overall and 4 percent among whites, the Associated Press reported. The racial differences are especially significant in some cities and states hit especially hard by the new coronavirus. In Louisiana, 16 percent of black adults say someone close to them has died compared with 6 percent of white adults. Blacks represent about 33 percent of the state's population but account for 53 percent of the state's nearly 3,000 COVID-19 deaths, state health department data show.

The surveys also showed that 14 percent of black adults in Atlanta say a family member or close friend has died of COVID-19 compared with 4 percent of white adults. The rates are 12 versus 4 percent in Baltimore; 15 versus 2 percent in Birmingham, Alabama; and 12 versus 4 percent in Chicago. In New York City, 26 percent of black adults say a family member or close friend has died from COVID-19 compared with 10 percent of white adults, according to the three COVID-19 impact surveys conducted between April and June by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Data Foundation.

Experts say reasons why black Americans have been particularly susceptible to COVID-19 include preexisting conditions and limited access to health care, the AP reported.

AP News Article

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