MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lawmakers are trying to figure out how to address COVID-19 patient disparities in Minnesota. In this state, people of color are being affected by COVID-19 at a much higher rate then people who are white.
In Minnesota, Indigenous people have the highest rate of hospitalizations from COVID-19, including being in the ICU. Latinx people are seven times more likely than white people to test positive, and Black Minnesotans are six times more likely to test positive.
Wednesday morning, some top doctors briefed lawmakers on the issue.
“We have no biologic explanation for why people of color are impacted more severely,” Dr. Dimitri Drekonja, with Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity, said. “I can say from both reading on this and from interviewing patients as they come in as to what their risk factors are, the risks that lead to people becoming more infected or to worse outcomes are known. And they’re risks that cluster in people who have certain disadvantaged populations.”
Lawmakers also listened to ideas on helping the disparities. One big suggestion is to make a big push for flu immunizations, to make communities healthier, and to come up with better sick leave policies.
“The differences in social positions — income, education, occupation, race, ethnicity, immigrant status — it makes a difference in exposure, susceptibility, particularly related to severe COVID-19 diseases. All this led to the horrific statistics,” Dr. Farhiya Farah, director of public health programs at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, said.
Source: CBS Minnesota