Minority communities were hardest hit by spring and summer 2020 COVID waves: CDC

stefanamer/iStockBy IVAN PEREIRA and SONY SALZMAN, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A report released Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided additional details into how the earliest months of the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately affected minorities.

The study found that as COVID-19 cases in the U.S. increased during the spring and summer, counties with larger populations of minority residents saw more of them.

During the first two weeks of April, just over 11% of U.S. counties, mostly in the Northeast and the South, were heavily affected by the novel coronavirus, according to the report. During that same time, 29% of communities with large Asian populations and 28% of communities with large Black populations were impacted.

In early August, when about two-thirds of all U.S. counties were seriously affected, 92% of those with large Black populations and 75% of those with large Hispanic populations were, the report said.

Counties with “large” minority populations were those that contained more residents of a certain racial or ethnic group than is represented by nationwide demographics.

“Inequities in social, economic and environmental conditions among racial and ethnic minority groups lead to disparities in health risks and outcomes, including those related to COVID-19,” the report said.

During the December rise in cases, the virus was widespread throughout all counties, according to the CDC.

Researchers said the new report adds to the agency’s prior surveys and analysis that have shown how the pandemic has greatly affected minority Americans.

The report said national, state and local health offices need to direct their efforts to curb cases in these communities and emphasize practices such as social distancing, mask-wearing and expanded vaccination programs.

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