22 minutes | Nov 17th 2020

What Milwaukee tells us about COVID-19 and its impact on race

New York City was an initial focal point for COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S. with the virus then quickly spreading across the country. With time, data, and analysis, researchers are learning more about how the novel coronavirus is affecting different swaths of the U.S. population.
Leonard Egede, division chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine and director of the Center for Advancing Population Science at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and colleagues recently published a paper in Health Affairs which aimed to understand the racial and ethnic differences in COVID-19 screening, hospitalization, and mortality rates in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin.
Using data from more than 31,500 adults, Egede and his colleagues found that blacks and Hispanics were both more than three times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than non-Hispanic whites. In addition, both blacks and Hispanics were two times more likely to be hospitalized relative to whites.
What do these findings mean for national hospitals, communities, and policymakers? 
Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interviews Leonard Egede to discuss his paper and what the findings tell us about the challenges that lie ahead as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
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