Florida Public Health Review


Background: In 2020, as COVID-19 spread across the United States, reports of disparities in COVID-19 incidence and mortality by race and ethnicity soon followed. This study assessed COVID-19 case counts and incidence by race and ethnicity at county and state levels focusing on Florida.

Methods: Counts of COVID-19 were collected from June through December 2020. Chi square analyses assessed disparities in case distribution and linear regressions assessed disparities in incidence and potential interaction between predictors.

Results: Race and ethnicity were significant predictors of COVID-19 incidence. Mean incidence was 4.9, 6.6, and 14.3 per 1,000 people among White, Black, and Other populations and 10.9 and 5.0 per 1,000 people among Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations. Incidence was greatest among the Other population (PP=0.3825), and greater among Hispanic than non-Hispanic populations (P=0.0057).

Conclusion: This study illustrates the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 upon racial and ethnic minorities and highlights the need to improve race and ethnicity data collection in disease reporting.