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High COVID-19 rates for Pacific islanders in the US

April 27, 2020 11:23 am
Marshall Islands Ministry of Health worker Mackneil Abraham points to boxes of recently arrived personal protection equipment being stored in anticipation of a future outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. [RNZ]

Pacific islanders living in the United States have an infection rate two to three times the average in at least four American states.

According to data released Sunday by the Pacific Islander Center of Primary Care Excellence, a California-based group.

The organization cited the “alarming disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities,” and announced it has formed a COVID-19 Response Team to focus on COVID-19’s impact on the US-based Pacific Islander community.

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Many states don’t separate data on Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders. But in states where statistics are available, they show that the highest rates of infection are in Pacific island communities.

As of last week, California’s state-wide average number of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population was 62.

The rate for Pacific islanders living in California was 217, over three-fold higher.

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