PA governor calls for mandated race and ethnicity data for all coronavirus testing to get accurate picture of virus impact

Written by on April 28, 2020

PA governor calls for mandated race and ethnicity data for all coronavirus testing to get accurate picture of virus impact

By Jen Rehill

April 28, 2020

Pennsylvania’s governor is calling for mandated race and ethnicity data collection in COVID-19 cases across the state. That’s because information about race has not been collected in the majority of cases so far. WLVR’s Jen Rehill has more.

To get even a rough sketch of how coronavirus may be impacting people of color in Pennsylvania, you have to take a deep dive into the limited statistics provided by health officials. 

Only about a third of positive tests include data on race and about half of all deaths. And there’s almost nothing on ethnicity.

“It has been a challenge to get race data in terms of our reporting,” said State Health Secretary Dr. Levine.

Looking at the data that is currently available, the trends suggest the virus is disproportionately impacting African American residents.

Among 1,300 positive test results with race data — nearly a third are listed as African American or Black — that’s compared to about 12 percent of the state’s population. 

Officials say getting more data is crucial to assess the severity of the outbreak in minority and vulnerable populations. So in addition to the governor’s call for expanded demographic data, the state’s new Health Disparity Task Force is working on ways to make more free and accessible testing available to those communities.


News

Current track

Title

Artist

Background
%d bloggers like this: