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This report from the CDC offers updated COVID-19 mortality data from the months of May to August 2020, tallying 114,411 deaths across the US during this time. Consistent with prior data, the current report describes a disproportionate percentage of black (18.7% of overall deaths despite representing 12.5% of the US population) and Hispanic (24.2% of overall deaths despite representing 18.5% of the US population) decedents. The Hispanic percentage of overall COVID-19 deaths increased from 14% in May to 25% in August. The report also highlights geographic trends, including a dramatic increase in the percentage distribution of COVID-19–associated deaths in the South from 23.4% in May to 62.7% in August.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to expose and exacerbate pre-existing health disparities in the US. By highlighting racial and geographic trends, this updated report provides sobering evidence to direct ongoing public health efforts.
– Emmett A. Kistler, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Persons aged ≥65 years and members of minority racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately represented among COVID-19–associated deaths.
What is added by this report?
Analysis of 114,411 COVID-19–associated deaths reported to National Vital Statistics System during May–August 2020, found that 51.3% of decedents were non-Hispanic White, 24.2% were Hispanic or Latino (Hispanic), and 18.7% were non-Hispanic Black. The percentage of Hispanic decedents increased from 16.3% in May to 26.4% in August.
What are the implications for public health practice?
These results can inform public health messaging and mitigation efforts focused on prevention and early detection of infection among disproportionately affected groups so as to minimize subsequent mortality.