May 26, 2020

Researchers Explore Causes Behind COVID-19 Disparities In Marion County



New SAVI research from the Polis Center at IUPUI digs into why black residents in Marion County are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The reasons are rooted in systemic racism, historic inequities and social factors.

The rates of COVID-19 infections in Indianapolis’ black communities are nearly twice that of whites. The SAVI data focuses on three factors that play into this disparity.

First, black residents may be exposed to the virus more. They are more likely to be frontline workers, less likely to be able to work from home, and may live in more densely populated neighborhoods.

Second, black residents are likely to have a more serious case of COVID-19 because of health inequities. These include underlying health conditions, a lack of healthy food access and health care access.

Finally, the report explores the economic factors that play into poor outcomes.  Black residents are more likely to be unemployed, have lower incomes and face housing insecurity.

The analysis is part of the Polis Centers ongoing research into COVID-19, risks and disparities.

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