A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated the spread of Covid-19 among Hispanic and Marshallese communities in Benton and Washington counties. This is Part 1 in a series that will focus on different aspects of the report.

The data referenced below was as of June 13 and is limited to Benton and Washington counties.

 

In Part 1, we’ll be looking at the ways the Hispanic and Marshallese populations in Benton and Washington counties have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

The Hispanic community makes up 17% of the two-county population, but it has 45% of the positive cases. The Hispanic community has had 17.9 cases per 100,000 people and 3.2 deaths per 1,000 cases.

How does this compare to non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups? It has 15 more cases per 100,000 people but a significantly lower death rate per case (4.2 deaths lower per 1,000 cases). However, the death rate based on population (not cases) is about the same as non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups.

Hispanics are hospitalized at about the same rate as non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups.

The Marshallese community represents between 1.5% to 3% of the population in Benton and Washington counties, but it’s had 19% of the cases.

The Marshallese community has had 83.9 cases per 100,000 people and 15.5 deaths per 1,000 cases.

How does this compare to non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups? It has 81 more cases per 100,000 people and double the death rate per case. The death rate based on population (not cases) is also much higher among the Marshallese population – 83.3 deaths versus 5.1 deaths per 100,000 people.

Marshallese are hospitalized at a 4% higher rate as non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups.

You can see that both the Hispanic and Marshallese communities represent a disproportionate number of Covid-19 infections compared to their percent of the population, and Marshallese residents have significantly higher rates of hospitalization and death compared to non-Hispanic, non-Marshallese groups.

The CDC team noted they were somewhat limited in their analysis because 42% of the records from the Arkansas Department of Health were missing information related to death.

Note: You can read more about the impact on the Marshallese and Hispanic community through the research I’ve done on average age of death by race and ethnicity in Benton and Washington Counties using coroners’ reports – which are more up to date that the Arkansas Department of Health reports.

You can also see overall trends by race and ethnicity on our Demographics Page through the data collected and updated each day by Mary Hennigan.