HomeAsian AmericansColorado's Pacific Islanders Display Higher COVID-19 Death Rates

Colorado’s Pacific Islanders Display Higher COVID-19 Death Rates

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders were “overrepresented” in coronavirus death rates in Colorado, Wheat Ride Transcript reported.

The data included race and ethnicity data for 249 reported coronavirus deaths, as of April 13. Out of the 249 deaths, Asians comprised seven of the deaths (2.8%), while Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders made up four (1.6%).

“We know that social and health care inequities affect outcomes, and that becomes even more apparent in times of disaster,” said Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, executive director of Colorado’s state health department, in a statement.

“There have been generations of institutionalized barriers to things like preventive medical care, healthy food, safe and stable housing, quality education, reliable transportation and clean air,” she continued.

Colorado’s primary affected population is White (172 deaths) who make up about 87% of the state population, according to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Asians and Pacific Islanders make up 3.7%.

However, Asian and White Colorado residents showed “statistically lower rates of COVID-19,” the report said. Asians had 2.2% of state cases, with Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders having a lower rate of 0.6%.

Black or African American residents are 3.9% of the state population, but they make up 7% of its cases.

People of color in Colorado often do not have access to quality healthcare and jobs that allow them to work from home. They also have higher rates of chronic health conditions, according to KDVR.

Asians have also reported coronavirus-centered racial harassment in Colorado. In one instance, a stranger shouted at a Centennial resident to “go back to where you come from.” A recent poll from the Colorado Asian Chamber of Commerce also reported a significant drop in customers in Chinese restaurants and other Asian-owned businesses.

In total, Colorado has administered 38,742 Covid-19 tests with 7,691 residents testing positive. Three-hundred-eight of these cases have resulted in death, according to the state government data.

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