The novel coronavirus has been disproportionally hitting California’s African American population, according to new data released Thursday.
Black Californians make up 6% of the state’s population but account for 11% of its coronavirus-related deaths and 7% of cases, according to the California Department of Public Health, which surveyed data for 65% of the state’s COVID-19 cases and 87% of deaths.
The findings echo numbers released by Los Angeles County, which found that African Americans account for 16% of COVID-19 patients who died and for whom race information was available. (Race information was available for only 390 of the county’s total of 455 coronavirus patients who have died and exclude cases from Pasadena and Long Beach, which have their own public health agencies.)
African Americans account for only 9% of the L.A. County’s population.
The county’s public health director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, has previously said that African Americans in L.A. County have “a disproportionate burden of illness going into a pandemic.”
L.A. County’s black residents are more likely to have higher rates of almost every illness the health department tracks, putting black communities at…