Thousands of New York City children have lost a parent to COVID-19



The number of children losing a parent / guardian by county. The biggest impact of COVID-19 on children is centered in and around New York City. (Courtesy of the United Hospital Fund)

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of thousands of families in New York City. More than 4,200 children in the state have lost at least one parent or caregiver to the virus, according to a report. And the economic crisis has pushed hundreds of thousands of children into poverty or near poverty.

The pandemic has hit people of color disproportionately, so the burden of this life-changing event will affect black and Hispanic children the most, according to the United Hospital Fund, which has partnered with the Boston Consulting Group to compile The report. Black and Hispanic children have lost a parent or caregiver at double the rate of Asian and white children.

“One in 600 black children and one in 700 Hispanic children have suffered such a loss, compared to one in 1,400 Asian children and one in 1,500 white children,” the United Hospital Fund said in a press release.

The report, entitled Ripple Effect of COVID-19: The Impact of COVID-19 on Children in New York State, have compiled data from March through July, so the true impact of the pandemic is sure to be much greater. Based on county-by-county data, the virus has hit families in and around New York City the most; 57% of parental deaths took place in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

“This pandemic is unlike anything we have ever seen before. The closest comparison in the state would be September 11, when more than 3,000 children lost a parent, ”said Suzanne Brundage of the UHF, co-author of the report, in a statement. “Losing a parent or guardian during childhood increases a child’s risk of developing a range of poor outcomes over the course of their life, including poorer mental and physical health.

The United Hospital Fund – a nonprofit that seeks to “build a more efficient health care system for every New Yorker,” according to its website – is sounding the alarm bells because of the potential for effects. long term on families and communities, especially among individuals. colored.

“The majority of children will suffer prolonged financial hardship, and many (~ 50%) could fall into poverty as a result,” the report says. “There are serious and long-term implications for mental health, which can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses.


United Hospital Fund President Anthony Shih said in a statement that the state and city of New York must consider the long-term effects of the pandemic on child poverty and mental health when taking political decisions affected by the economic and budgetary crisis.

“We hope this analysis will provide policymakers and community leaders with the data necessary to develop the necessary strategies and policies,” Shih said.

As of September 30, New York City had 239,219 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 23,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19-related deaths, according to data from the city’s Department of Health.

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