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Shift in racial communities impacted by COVID-19 in California
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  1. Raphael E Cuomo
  1. University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Raphael E Cuomo,9500 Gilman Drive #0170P La Jolla, CA 92093-0170, USA; racuomo{at}ucsd.edu

Abstract

Introduction Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in California, the geospatial distribution of disease cases has fluctuated over time. Given documented racial disparities in other parts of the country, longitudinal convergence of COVID-19 rates around race groups warrants assessment.

Methods County-level cases for COVID-19 were collected from the Johns Hopkins University, and racial distributions were collected from the American Community Survey. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were computed for each day since COVID-19 was first reported in California, and the longitudinal distribution of each race-specific set of correlation coefficients was assessed for stationarity, linear trend and exponential trend.

Results Earlier in the outbreak, the distribution of COVID-19 was most highly correlated with Asian American communities; after approximately 100 days, the distribution of COVID-19 most closely resembled that of African American communities. For every day in this dataset, the county-level distribution of COVID-19 was negatively correlated with the distribution of White American communities in California.

Discussion The geospatial distribution of COVID-19 in California has increasingly resembled that of African American communities within the state. Further study should be conducted to characterise potentially disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across race groups.

  • Epidemiology
  • GIS
  • Epidemics
  • Inequalities
  • Public health

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Footnotes

  • Contributor REC conceptualised the study, collected the data, analysed the data and wrote the paper.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Map disclaimer The depiction of boundaries on the map(s) in this article does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of BMJ (or any member of its group) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, jurisdiction or area or of its authorities. The map(s) are provided without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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