Did You Know?

Did you know? COVID-19 further reveals structural racism in American systems

Did you know...the dramatically negative effects of COVID-19 on the health of black, indigenous and people of color in the United States are due to health disparities in these groups? As COVID-19 continues to move through Minnesota and the country, it exposes the pervasive and persistent nature of structural racism. Communities of color and indigenous communities have increased exposure to COVID-19 because of the social determinants of health, such as working in low-paying jobs that are now considered essential. In addition, due to health inequities, they are more susceptible to getting COVID and suffering from its serious complications. The economic effects of the virus also magnify the racial wealth gap that has existed for decades.

Minnesota's COVID-19 website breaks COVID-19 data down by race/ethnicity. These statistics are then adjusted for age, which essentially shows what rates would be if the population distribution was the same for all groups. These age-adjusted rates reveal a dramatic picture that COVID is negatively effect on people of color. Compared to Minnesotans who are white, Black Minnesotans are testing positive for COVID-19 more than 3 times higher, being hospitalized at a rate 7 times higher, and dying at a rate 4 times higher. Latinx Minnesotans are testing positive at more than 4 times the rate of whites, 8 times for hospitalizations, and more than 3 times the death rate.


(Taken from Minnesota's COVID-19 site on 11/1/2020)

COVID-19 gives us clarity about our society’s racial inequities. Now that our eyes are wide open, we can take steps to eliminate the structural racism that has produced these stark disparities. 

COVID-19 has revealed structural racism in our policies and systems that must be eliminated. We cannot achieve health equity without acknowledging and breaking down racist structures. What do you think are some ways we can remove these structures? We'd love to know your thoughts — visit our Facebook post and let us know. 

Our "Did You Know?" features are to help members of our communities better understand what supports health, how health is created in the community and how structures inside the community have an influence on health.