Cook County Hispanics disproportionately affected by COVID-19 hospitalization, study finds

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new study out Thursday shows the disproportionate impact of COVD-19 on Hispanics in Cook County in the early days of the pandemic.

From mid-March to mid-May 2020, 60% of all hospitalized COVID-19 infected patients at Cook County Health were Hispanic.

At one point in mid-April, that number climbed to 75%.

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Common threads among those patients included living in areas with high proportions of residents who were also Hispanic, living in multi-generational homes or overcrowded residences, and being employed in manufacturing and construction.

"The rapid and disproportionate increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations among Hispanics after the shelter-in-place mandate indicates that public health strategies were inadequate in protecting this population," said Dr. Bill Trick, study principal investigator and associate chair of research at Cook County Health. "These individuals were unable to shelter in place because their employment (or employers) didn't allow for remote work."

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Hispanic patients were also more likely to require admission to an ICU and had an increased need for needing a ventilator or dying.

The study's lead researcher told ABC7 Eyewitness news that educating the Hispanic community to follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated against the coronavirus remains important.
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