Minnesota releases coronavirus patients’ demographic info

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ST. PAUL (Pioneer Press) – Nearly three-fourths of the people in Minnesota with confirmed positive cases for COVID-19 are white, according to findings from the state’s Department of Health. That is relatively consistent with state data which shows that non-hispanic white Minnesotans make up 80 percent of the state’s population.

The state recently began listing demographic information about the patients who have tested positive and died from coronavirus. Concerns about the impact on minority communities have been raised nationwide as clusters of coronavirus have hit several predominately black areas hard, including Milwaukee’s.

Six percent of Minnesotans with confirmed coronavirus cases are black, 4 percent Asian and 1 percent American Indian/Alaska Native. Three percent self-reported as “other.” Another 14 percent did not report their race.

“We want to keep an eye on being mindful of how the burden of illness is manifesting in specific communities and that will be important to look more closely at as time goes on,” Commissioner Jan Malcolm said on a Monday conference call.

Of the COVID-19-related deaths in the state, 77 percent — or 23 people — of the 30 people who have passed are white. Demographic information for 20 percent of those who passed (six people) is unknown and 3 percent — or one person — was Asian.

The race and ethnicity data that the state has collected is self-reported. Data shows that 78 percent of cases are non-Hispanic,  5 percent are Hispanic and 17 percent did not report their ethnicity.

“As is so true of just about every health issue we know, the burden of COVID-19 does not fall evenly or equitably in all communities,” Malcolm said.

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