COVID Resources: Race, the Virus: Bias, Data, Testing and Impact

August 20, 2020

Existing demographic data has revealed the disproportionate health effects of the coronavirus on Black and Brown people, communities of color, and Indigenous people. However, comprehensive racial and ethnic data does not exist in every state nor are there uniform reporting guidelines across the country. In order to better address racial disparities, legislators are pushing for improved data collection, an investment in contact tracing programs, and greater transparency on racial impact.


  • General Information on Racial Disparities and Equity
    • APM Research Lab demonstrates key findings on COVID-19 deaths based on race and ethnicity in the U.S. 
    • Community Catalyst summarizes the COVID-19-related health and economic challenges for communities of color 
    • An in-depth overview of COVID-19-related racial disparities
    • Data for Black Lives issued a report with research on and policy demands for racial data transparency
    • SiX led a webinar on “Principles for an Anti-Racist State Equitable Response to COVID-19” that discussed a paper from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Contact Tracing Programs 
    • United States of Care: executive summary of state actions on contact tracing
    • New York requires city contact tracers to be representative of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the communities they will serve
    • Examples of appropriations bills that support contract tracing from Hawaii, Minnesota, and North Carolina 
  • Addressing Racial Disparities 
    • This comprehensive racial equity checklist from Community Catalyst includes policy options for addressing racial inequities in response to COVID-19
    • Ohio and Massachusetts introduced bills that would require a racial impact and health disparities analysis for health-related initiatives and policies
    • South Carolina developed a testing plan that emphasizes testing in rural and under-resourced minority communities, urban areas, and congregate living areas

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