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Research Papers

Researchers Identify Disparities in COVID Testing

Johns Hopkins team conducted an analysis of state-published demographic data

February 17, 2022

In a research brief report published by the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice on Feb. 9, 2022, a team of Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (CRC) experts examined race- and ethnicity-based differences in SARS-CoV-2 testing using publicly available U.S. state dashboards to extract demographic data for COVID-19 cases and tests.

The authors are Emily Pond, research data analyst for the CRC; Lainie Rutkow, CRC project lead; Beth Blauer, CRC data lead; Angel Aliseda Alonso, a CRC researcher; Sara Bertran de Lis, a CRC data scientist; and Jennifer Nuzzo, CRC epidemiology lead.

“These data indicate that disparities in COVID-19 transmission and outcome patterns also extend to testing. Compared with non-Hispanic/Latino patients, Hispanic/Latino patients received significantly fewer COVID-19 tests, even when accounting for potentially disparate case levels,” the paper states. “These results corroborate prior findings that testing outreach and accessibility for Hispanic/Latino individuals may be insufficient to account for transmission and case levels.”

The Coronavirus Resource Center in November 2021 published a “Disparity Explorer” visualization to highlight demographic disparities and the challenges of collecting this data and bringing these disparities into the national dialogue, Blauer explained in a blog post last year.

To read the study visit the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice