Only 12.5% of Americans are black, but blacks accounted for nearly 19% of all coronavirus deaths during that four-month period.
About 51% of deaths from COVID-19 have been in non-Hispanic white Americans. Non-Hispanic whites make up 76% of the U.S. population, according to Census Bureau estimates.
CDC researchers said in Friday’s report that the disproportionately higher death rates among non-whites likely stem from different cultural and socio-economic causes. Minorities are more likely to live in multi-generational or multi-family dwellings; more likely to work in jobs that require their physical presence such as meat-packing, service, and healthcare jobs; and more likely to suffer from underlying conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, which are linked to worse outcomes in patients with COVID-19.
The new data also shows the marked geographic shift of the pandemic over the summer months. A first wave of COVID-19 cases that swept across the northeast gradually moved south and west, and just under half of all virus-related deaths in May were in states from the northeast. That number fell to less than 10% in July.
In the southern states, the death toll has risen alarmingly. In July and August, about 60% of all deaths from COVID-19 occurred in the south, while western states accounted for about 1 in 5 deaths.
Northeastern states, hit hard by a first wave of coronavirus infections, quickly implemented mask requirements and widespread testing regimes. They have also moved much slower to lift lockdowns and restrictions on facilities like bars and restaurants, in contrast to the Southern and Sun Belt states which reopened early – and suffered a devastating summer over the course. from which the virus tore young adults apart.
Experts at the CDC said the share of those who died who were over 65 and the share who were in nursing homes both declined over the summer months. This suggests that older Americans took more precautions as infections among younger Americans increased, and nursing homes became better able to manage risk after the first outbreaks swept through assisted living. in March and April.