Vermont statistics show minorities hit hardest by COVID-19

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Racial minorities in Vermont have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, statistics from the Vermont Health Department show.

Collected between March 5 and Sept. 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 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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NUMBERS

On Thursday the Vermont Health Department reported two new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to almost 1,725.

The number of deaths remains at 58.