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Communities of Color Hit Hardest by COVID-19 and Lack Trust in Healthcare

By: 3BL Media

SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics


Quest’s researchers continue to invest in documenting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color to help combat health inequities. Below are 2 key studies developed as part of our Health Trends series.

COVID-19 had a greater impact on Black and Hispanic communities, even when controlling for other risk factors

Because few states report COVID-19 testing rates by race/ethnicity, our researchers did an indirect assessment by comparing:

  • Positivity rates across zip codes, based on Quest data for 2,331,175 specimens tested between March 9 and May 31, 2020
  • The race/ethnicity composition of each zip code, based on census estimates from all 50 states and Washington, DC

The results showed COVID-19 positivity rates increased for all racial/ethnic groups except white non-Hispanic (for which the trend was reversed), and this held true after controlling for other risk factors. 

“COVID-19 has magnified the urgency to address racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare. Policymakers and providers should take these research findings to heart to drive meaningful change.” - Harvey Kaufman, MD, Senior Medical Director and Director, Health Trends Research Program, Quest Diagnostics

There are racial divides in trust and perceptions of access to healthcare during the pandemic

This study, “COVID-19: Magnifying Racial Disparities in US Healthcare,” is based on a nationally representative survey conducted online in November 2020 by The Harris Poll on behalf of Quest. Key findings include: 

  • Black and Hispanic/Latinx Americans lack confidence in access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics: Black and Hispanic/ Latinx Americans are nearly twice as likely as white Americans to say their access is worse than other racial/ethnic groups
  • Fewer Black and Hispanic/Latinx Americans trust they would receive equitable lifesaving COVID-19 care: A much higher percentage of white Americans (84%) are confident they’d receive the same lifesaving care as people of other races/ethnicities compared with Hispanic/Latinx Americans (67%) and Black Americans (64%)
  • 52% of Americans expect actions will be taken to address racial disparities in healthcare in the wake of COVID-19: Insights from these studies have already informed actions Quest is taking to improve health equity and build trust with communities of color

Learn more about the steps Quest is taking to reduce health inequities on page 15.

Quest joins 5-year study on impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities

Quest is part of the Minority and Rural Health Coronavirus Insights Study (MRCIS) to assess the impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities and underserved communities across the US. Launched in June 2020, this 5-year research partnership with Centene® Corporation and the National Minority Quality Forum, aims to document and reduce health disparities. To support the study, Quest is contributing Health Trends data, and conducting COVID-19 and other testing at Federally Qualified Health Centers in 5 states.


Read more from Quest Diagnostics' 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report: A year of challenge and change

Tweet me: .@QuestDX’s researchers continue to invest in documenting the disproportionate impact of #COVID19 on communities of color to help combat health inequities. Here are 2 key studies developed as part of their Health Trends series.

KEYWORDS: NYSE:DGX, Quest Diagnostics, COVID-19


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