Health dept. study shows prior COVID-19 infections among Virginia adults were higher in Hispanic population

Health dept. study shows prior COVID-19 infections among Virginia adults were higher in Hispanic population
Statewide, Hispanic ethnicity, residence in an apartment building or other multi-family housing unit, and reported contact with a COVID-19 case significantly increased the risk of having a positive antibody test. (Source: American Red Cross)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A study conducted by the Virginia Department of Health shows that prior coronavirus infections among Virginia adults were significantly higher in the Hispanic population.

The Coronavirus Serology Project was conducted during the summer of 2020 and found an estimated 2.4 percent of adults in the state have antibody test evidence of a prior COVID-19 infection. However, the percentage was much higher - at 10.2 percent - among Hispanic individuals.

Statewide, factors that increased the risk of having a positive antibody test included:

  • Hispanic ethnicity
  • Residence in an apartment building or other multi-family housing unit
  • Teported contact with a COVID-19 case

The project’s findings will help Virginia address the COVID-19 pandemic by understanding risk factors and giving the public health system and hospitals information to plan for future health care needs.

“The results are in line with the preliminary findings we reported in August that suggested a relatively low rate of COVID-19 exposure overall among Virginia adults,” said M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A., Virginia State Health Commissioner in a release. “Virginians are avoiding infections by following recommendations on wearing masks, social distancing and handwashing. We continue to study the higher rate of infection in Hispanic adults and to work with community partners to formulate additional interventions.”

From June 1 to August 14, 2020, 4,675 adult outpatients presenting for non-COVID related health care agreed to complete a questionnaire and provide a blood sample for COVID-19 antibody testing.

Participating health care systems across Virginia include:

  • Inova Health System (Northern)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University (Central)
  • Sentara Healthcare (Eastern)
  • Carilion Clinic (Southwest)
  • University of Virginia (Northwest)

Enrollment was stratified to meet the age, race and ethnic population distribution of each region. Read the full preliminary findings here.

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