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COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
COVID-19 virus

The effects of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minority groups is still emerging.  However, current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups.  A recent CDC MMWR report included race and ethnicity data from 580 patients hospitalized with lab-confirmed COVID-19 found that 45% of individuals for whom race or ethnicity data was available were white, compared to 55% of individuals in the surrounding community. However, 33% of hospitalized patients were black compared to 18% in the community and 8% were Hispanic, compared to 14% in the community. This data, which was published online on April 8th 2020 suggests an overrepresentation of blacks among hospitalized patients. Cases were identified on COVID-NET if they tested positive for SARS-COV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease) through a test ordered by a health care professional and are hospitalized within 14 days of the positive test. COVID-NET was implemented to produce robust, weekly, age-stratified COVID-19–associated hospitalization rates.

Studies are underway to confirm this data and understand and potentially reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health of racial and ethnic minorities. Health differences between racial and ethnic groups are often due to economic and social conditions that are more common among some racial and ethnic minorities than whites. In public health emergencies, these conditions can also isolate people from the resources they need to prepare for and respond to outbreaks. Additionally, the National Center for Health Statistics provides weekly updates for deaths by select demographic and geographic characteristics on their webpage.

Read more information on COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority groups and the current status of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith During COVID-19
individuals in a group discussion

CDC has released guidance for communities of faith to continue to safely practice their religious beliefs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance document offers general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe.  Millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.  For many faith traditions, gathering together for worship is at the heart of what it means to be a community of faith. But as Americans are now aware, gatherings present a risk for increasing spread of COVID-19 during this Public Health Emergency. CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider and accept, reject, or modify, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

CDC has recently developed additional resources to guide individuals, supervisors, and families on how to cope with the current COVID-19 pandemic:

For the most up to date information on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit CDC’s coronavirus website.

Physical Inactivity is More Common among Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Most States
Active people, healthy nation. creating an active America, together

In honor of National Minority Health Month that occurs every April, CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity in coordination with Office of Minority Health and Health Equity released a blog entitled, “Physical Inactivity is More Common among Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Most States” which reports on the physical activity among racial and ethnic minorities across the United States. Unfortunately, far too many adults are inactive, and inactivity levels differ notably by race and ethnicity. These facts aid in the success of Active People, Healthy NationSM, CDC’s new initiative to make it easier for people to be physically active where they live, learn, work, and play.

Not all people may know how much physical activity affects their health. Being physically active immediately helps you sleep better and feel better. And over time, physical activity reduces your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many cancers. Conversely, inactivity contributes to 1 in 10 premature deaths in the US. Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.

Read the entire article on OMHHE’s Conversations in Equity blog site. Also visit CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity’s website for more information on why physical activity matters.

Hepatitis C Now Heavily Impacting Multiple Generations

Infection with chronic hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver disease, liver cancer, and liver-related death in the United States. African Americans have disproportionately higher rates of infection and hepatitis C-related deathexternal icon compared to overall population. According to a recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on the newly reported acute and chronic Hepatitis C cases in the United States, the annual rate of reported acute cases tripled from 2009 to 2018 and was highest among persons aged 20–39 years. In 2018, the largest proportion of chronic cases occurred among persons aged 20–39 years and 50–69 years, however only 61% of adults with hepatitis C knew that they were infected.

The report emphasizes all adults and pregnant women should be screened for hepatitis C according to CDC’s new screening recommendations. These recommendations can be used by health care professionals, public health officials, and organizations involved in the development, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of clinical and preventive services. To learn more about Hepatitis C and testing recommendations, visit CDC’s website for more information.

Read more about ways communities of faith can prevent the spread of COVID-19 by promoting safe and healthy actions.

Thrive After Cancer: "Talk to Someone" Simulation Now Available in Spanish
habla con alguien

When you finish cancer treatment, you may wonder what comes next. Get tips for lifelong health, and how a cancer survivorship care plan can help all of your doctors stay informed about your care. A new release of the “Talk to Someone” simulation featuring Linda, a five-year cancer survivor, is now available in Spanish. “Talk to Someone” gives cancer survivors useful tips for living well after cancer.

Linda gives advice to help fellow survivors start and maintain healthy habits. Cancer survivors can talk with Linda about anxiety and distress, alcohol use, tobacco use, and physical activity and nutrition. Linda is a virtual friend and coach who encourages survivors to take steps to live a longer, healthier life.

Read more, in Spanish, on various ways to stay well while at home.

Page last reviewed: June 16, 2020