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Coronavirus and Black older people | Discover

Risk of catching coronavirus

The idea that Black African and Black Caribbean people may be at higher risk of catching coronavirus is reflected in the numbers of people who are testing positive for the virus. Public Health England data shows that, for much of the pandemic, there have been larger numbers of new cases of coronavirus for every 100,000 Black people than for every 100,000 White people in England.

For example, in the week ending 3 April, just after the UK was put into lockdown, there were 78 new cases of coronavirus for every 100,000 Black people, compared to 41 new cases for every 100,000 White people. Looking at the average across the whole pandemic period, a Black person has had a 40% higher risk of testing positive than a White person.

The REACT study, which has tested 100,000 randomly selected members of the public in England for coronavirus antibodies, has found that Black people were more than 3 times more likely to test positive than White people. They estimate that 17% of Black people compared to 5% of White people had had coronavirus before the end of June.

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