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Racism, Health & COVID-19

Posted 7/10/2020 (updated 9/14/2022)

Communities of color have experienced significant disparities in health outcomes from COVID-19, as well as barriers to accessing testing. Predominantly white communities have had access to more testing sites than communities that are predominantly made up of Black and Latinx residents.

COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx communities and the protests against police brutality have led to widespread calls to acknowledge systemic racism as a public health crisis. Many organizations and communities are responding by placing an emphasis on addressing structural racism and health inequities.

  • Anthem and the Anthem Foundation have pledged $50 million over five years, aimed at advancing racial injustice, strengthening communities and addressing health inequities.
  • In Florida, GuideWell launched the Equity Alliance, an initiative focused on addressing systemic racism and the resulting health disparities for Black Americans. Guidewell, Florida Blue and its foundation also announced $25 million in investments over five years to organizations focused on diversity, inclusion and health equity.
  • In Arkansas, a grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas will support community health navigators and COVID-19-related outreach in the Hispanic and Marshallese communities in Northwest Arkansas.

This overview of research, also includes discussions with more resources on:

  • Seniors, Nursing Homes and COVID-19
  • The Pandemic's Impact on Maternal & Reproductive Health
  • COVID-19 & Social Determinants of Health