Disparities in the distribution of COVID-19 testing sites in black and Latino areas in new York City

Prev Med. 2021 Feb 26:106463. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106463. Online ahead of print.


In New York City (NYC), there are disproportionately more cases and deaths from COVID-19 for Blacks and Latinos compared to Whites. Using data from the NYC coronavirus data repository and the 2018 American Community Survey 5-year census estimates, we examined the distribution of testing sites across NYC neighborhoods (zip code tabulation areas) by race in May 2020. ArcGIS was used to create majority race zip code-level maps showing the distribution of testing sites on May 1, 2020 and May 17, 2020 in NYC. t-tests were used to determine whether significant differences existed in the number of testing sites by the majority race of zip codes. Between May 1, 2020 and May 17, 2020, testing sites in majority Black neighborhoods increased by more than 240% from nine to 31, and more than 90% from 16 to 31 in majority Latino neighborhoods. Black (M = 1257.7) and Latino (M = 1662.3) neighborhoods had significantly more COVID-19 cases (p < 0.05) compared to White neighborhoods. Nonetheless, White (n = 70; 38.9%) neighborhoods had most of the 180 testing sites on May 17, 2020, compared to Black (n = 31;17.2%) and Latino (n = 31;17.2%) neighborhoods. Due to the socio-economic and underlying health conditions that may place Blacks and Latinos at high risk for COVID-19, it is imperative that access to testing is improved for vulnerable groups.

PMID:33647352 | DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106463