The coronavirus has disproportionately impacted communities of color in the United States, and that’s true in Lancaster County as well, according to federal data obtained and analyzed by the New York Times.
Through May, per capita rates of infection were two to three times higher for Blacks, Latinos and Asians as they were for whites in Lancaster County, according to race and ethnicity data that was available for 35% of about 2,600 cases here through late May. (The county now has more than 4,600 cases.)
Of the 917 Lancaster County cases for which the Times obtained race data after suing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 595 were white, 212 were Latino, 71 were Black and 39 were Asian.
That translated to 36 cases per 10,000 people for Blacks and Latinos, 30 for Asians and 13 for whites, according to the Times. The CDC data did not include information on how patients might have contracted the virus, but the disparities were clear in many communities across the nation, according to the Times' analysis.
The Times noted that Blacks and Latinos are more likely to hold service or production jobs that put them in more frequent contact with others and do not allow them to work from home.
While minorities contracted the virus at higher rates, that has not led to a higher rate of deaths for those groups locally, according to data collected by Lancaster County’s coroner, Dr. Stephen Diamantoni, and posted to the county’s coronavirus dashboard.
The 352 deaths here as of Monday have had the greatest impact on the local nursing home population (85% of all deaths here have been residents of senior care facilities), and two-thirds of those who died in Lancaster County were 80 or older.
Of the 352 total deaths here, 319 (91%) were white; 21, (6%), were Hispanic; 6 (1.7%) were Black; and 5 (1.4%) were Asian.
According to U.S. Census estimates for 2019, the county is 81.3% white, 11.0% Hispanic, 5.2% Black and 2.5% Asian.