COVID-19 Risks and Impacts Among Health Care Workers by Race/Ethnicity

COVID-19 Risks and Impacts Among Health Care Workers by Race/Ethnicity

As of November, at least two hundred thousand U.S. healthcare workers had contracted coronavirus and nearly eight hundred had died — and that could be a significant underestimate due to gaps in data collection, an issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds. According to COVID-19 Risks and Impacts Among Health Care Workers by Race/Ethnicity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that healthcare personnel of color are more than twice as likely as their white colleagues (9.7 percent vs. 4.4 percent) to show antibody evidence of previous infection and that, as of July, people of color accounted for 53 percent of confirmed cases among healthcare personnel. The brief also notes that African Americans comprise 16 percent of the healthcare workforce but account for 26 percent of COVID-related deaths; Latinx healthcare workers comprise 13 percent of the workforce and account for 12 percent of COVID-related deaths; and Asian Americans comprise 7 percent of the workforce and account for 9 percent of COVID-related deaths. A KFF survey also found that among healthcare workers and individuals who live in a household with a healthcare worker, Black respondents were more likely than white respondents to report knowing someone who had died from the virus (51 percent vs. 35 percent) and to say that the pandemic had negatively affected their ability to pay for basic necessities (63 percent vs. 41 percent).

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