Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. And that’s not a surprising development, says a new GHN Commentary.
Dr. Harry J. Heiman and Rodney Lyn, of the Georgia State University School of Public Health, point to the high prevalence of chronic disease and other health conditions in racial and ethnic minority communities as part of the answer.
“We have done a poor job tracking COVID-19 cases by race and ethnicity,’’ they write.
Heiman and Lyn call for ensuring access to testing and treatment. “To date, Georgia has established more than 100 drive-through testing sites, but few walk-in sites,’’ they write. “People of color are overrepresented among those without access to a car, creating an unnecessary barrier to testing. At the same time, they are overrepresented among low-income workers, who are both more likely to be in essential industries and service jobs that increase their risk of exposure and less likely to have access to affordable health insurance coverage, due in part to Georgia’s failure to expand Medicaid.’’
“There are urgent steps our state can take today to support Georgia families,’’ Heiman and Lyn add.