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The NYC Health Department released a new paper exploring the high rate of hospitalization of Black New Yorkers during the omicron surge, the factors that caused the spike, and a roadmap for action. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated health inequities driven by anti-Black structural racism, and these factors contributed to the high rates of hospitalization the city saw among Black New Yorkers during the surge.  

Image provided by NYC Health Department

Key findings and observations:

  • During the omicron wave, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate was more than two times greater among Black New Yorkers compared to White New Yorkers.
    • In the wave, COVID-19 hospitalizations were also disproportionately higher in neighborhoods with a high percentage of Black residents.
  • Black New Yorkers and residents of the least privileged census tracts faced longer delays receiving a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, according to data from between October 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021. For 1 out of 4 Black New Yorkers and residents of the least privileged census tracts, it took 5 or more days to get diagnosed. In comparison, 1 out of 4 other New Yorkers took 4 or more days to get diagnosed. These longer times between symptom onset and diagnosis are driven in part by structural barriers and contribute to delays in seeking care.
    • Nationally, Black Americans are 22% less likely than White Americans to receive monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Inequities in COVID-19 primary vaccination series and additional doses may have made Black New Yorkers more vulnerable to COVID-19 during the omicron surge.
    • Rates of additional or booster doses among Black New Yorkers were lower by winter 2021, partly because fewer had completed their primary vaccination to be eligible for an additional dose.
    • However, tailored engagement, community partnership and resource investment in the neighborhoods identified by the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity (TRIE) as most impacted by historical inequities and COVID-19 boosted vaccination.
    • Seventy-three out of the 74 zip codes that make up the TRIE neighborhoods achieved 70% vaccination coverage for the full primary series by February 2022, compared to 14 out of 74 in July 2021.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.