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Shift in racial communities impacted by COVID-19 in California.

  • Author(s): Cuomo, Raphael E
  • et al.


Since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in California, the geospatial distribution of disease cases has fluctuated over time. Given documented racial disparities in other parts of the country, longitudinal convergence of COVID-19 rates around race groups warrants assessment.


County-level cases for COVID-19 were collected from the Johns Hopkins University, and racial distributions were collected from the American Community Survey. Pearson's correlation coefficients were computed for each day since COVID-19 was first reported in California, and the longitudinal distribution of each race-specific set of correlation coefficients was assessed for stationarity, linear trend and exponential trend.


Earlier in the outbreak, the distribution of COVID-19 was most highly correlated with Asian American communities; after approximately 100 days, the distribution of COVID-19 most closely resembled that of African American communities. For every day in this dataset, the county-level distribution of COVID-19 was negatively correlated with the distribution of White American communities in California.


The geospatial distribution of COVID-19 in California has increasingly resembled that of African American communities within the state. Further study should be conducted to characterise potentially disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across race groups.

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