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New dashboard highlights COVID-19 disparities by race, ethnicity

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(WQOW)- Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently launched a new online dashboard detailing how some races and ethnicities are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Data shows that Black and Hispanic/Latinx populations are over-represented among COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths compared to White Wisconsinites. Hispanic or Latinx Wisconsinites have roughly 2.4 times greater case rates, while Black Wisconsinites have more than three times greater hospitalization rates, and over double the death rate.

Health officials say the disparities could be caused by systemic racism, and socioeconomic differences across communities.

"The socioeconomics of different groups vary greatly by race and ethnicity," said Dr. Ken Johnson of the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Emergency Department. "Socioeconomic groups that have been disadvantaged over the years are more likely to develop diseases, and there's no reason that should be different for COVID."

In response to the data, Gov. Tony Evers said "While we cannot reverse systemic health inequalities overnight, we can all come together to protect our neighbors by practicing good health."

Evan Hong

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