CA Releases Preliminary Racial Breakdown Of COVID-19 Cases

Data from New York and Chicago shows the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting African Americans, prompting Governor Gavin Newom to release racial data about California’s cases. 

The preliminary numbers track 37% of the state’s early cases.

“It tracks modestly so along the lines of total population,” said Newsom. “But I caution you, the data is limited to that current sample size.”

The Governor says state officials are working to gather more complete data on the racial breakdown of cases. The initial data breaks down as follows:

  • Latinos: 30% of cases and 29% of deaths (39% of the state's population)
  • Whites: 37% of cases and 43% of deaths (37% of the state's population)
  • African Americans/Blacks: 6% of cases and 3% of deaths (6% of the state's population)
  • Asians: 14% of cases and 16% of deaths (15% of the state's population)
  • Multiracial: 2.5% of cases and 2% of deaths (2% of the state's population)
  • American Indians or Alaska Natives: 0.2% of cases and 0.6% of deaths (0.5% of the states' population)
  • Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders: 1.6% of cases and 1% of deaths (0.3% of the state's population)
  • Other: 9% of cases and 5% of deaths (N/A) 

Preliminary data shows cases falling along racial lines in San Francisco so far. African Americans make up 5% of the city’s population and 4% of coronavirus cases.

Los Angeles is a noticeable discrepancy within the state, with African Americans account for a full third of the city's infections, compared to 18% of the population.

Governor Newsom emphasized strongly that it is far too early to draw conclusions about the state’s limited data. Policy changes will also have to wait.

“It’s one thing to have that data, it’s another to do something with it - to make the data actionable.”