More than 80 percent of people hospitalized with the coronavirus in eight Georgia hospitals were black, according to a study published Wednesday. “It is important to continue ongoing efforts to understand the reasons for these racial disparities, including the role of socioeconomic and occupational factors in transmission,” the researchers wrote. “Public officials should consider racial differences among patients affected by COVID-19 when planning prevention activities.” The study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 247 of 305 hospitalized coronavirus patients in the eight hospitals surveyed were black, The Washington Post reported. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced last week that he would begin rolling out a plan to reopen businesses even as the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to rise.
Kemp’s decision to allow the statewide stay-at-home order to expire on April 30 prompted pushback from leaders in the black community: “We call upon our local political leaders to continue to work on behalf of all Georgia citizens, and especially its most vulnerable citizens who need and deserve reparative outreach and service,” Georgia’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said in a statement.