BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Statistics collected by the Vermont Health Department show that racial minorities in the state have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collected between March 5 and September 16, the statistics show that while white Vermonters represent more than 80% of Vermont COVID-19 cases, the rate per 100,000 for white Vermonters is 23.3.
The figure for Black Vermonters is 228.3. For Asian Vermonters the rate is 55.7, and for Hispanics, 47.4.
Vermont officials have talked about the disparities, found across the country, in the past, but the statistics measure it since COVID-19 arrived in the state in early March.
The health department says there are a number of contributing factors, including systemic and structural racism, socioeconomic disadvantage, historical injustice, and oppressive systems that affect the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work.
“Some of the actions Vermont must take include focusing on primary prevention efforts, engaging with communities, as well as funding racial justice initiatives and partnering with racial justice advocacy organizations to reduce health disparities,” the department said.
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