A Brief Guide to COVID-19 Racial Data Trackers

To date, 51 states/territories report coronavirus infections, while 50 states publish mortality data on COVID-19. However, the lack of national standards for data collection and reporting poses problems for obtaining a full picture of how COVID-19 impacts different ethnic and racial groups.

Still, nine months after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, consistent data reporting tells us that on average Black Americans are shouldering the burden of COVID-19. The COVID Tracking Project, reports that based on their share of the population, Black people are 2.3 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people.

According to the APM Research Lab, even when the data is age-adjusted (indirect adjusted death rate), Black people continue to have the highest death rates from the coronavirus. On the other hand, age-adjusted data shows that white people have the lowest mortality rate of all racial and ethnic groups.

Researchers have pointed to a complex set of factors that include co-morbidities, structural racism, and a greater probability of living and working in densely populated areas that make Black people more vulnerable to contracting and dying from COVID-19. This is why access to quality COVID-19 data is critical.

Four major projects (The CDC, Johns Hopkins, APM Research Lab, and the COVID Racial Data Tracker)track and visualize COVID-19 race and ethnic data to help researchers, educators, policymakers, physicians, public health officials, the media, and the general public understand and use this information. This chart is a brief overview and a comparative evaluation of the COVID-19 racial data trackers.

Based on select criteria, the “COVID Racial Data Tracker” and “APM Research Lab: The Color of Coronavirus” provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date race and ethnic data on COVID-19. We hope this chart will assist individuals and organizations in making the most informed choice about the type of data resource to use for analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on Black communities and other people of color in the United States.

Redefining Health Data…Connecting Black Communities to their Data.