SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Rate for Latinos in the Baltimore-Washington, DC Region

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Samples were collected between March 11, 2020, and May 25, 2020, from 5 hospitals, including emergency departments, and 30 outpatient clinics that are part of the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS). SARS-CoV-2 testing inclusion criteria broadened over time (ie, initially high-risk individuals only and then all symptomatic patients) as local capacity increased but was standardized across JHHS sites. Samples collected via nasopharyngeal swabs were analyzed using SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction. Data on patient demographics, comorbidities, SARS-CoV-2 status, and hospitalization were extracted from the integrated electronic health record system.

Patients self-identified race/ethnicity from fixed categories. Racial/ethnic groups were considered mutually exclusive; ie, Latinos were excluded from other groups (white, black, other) regardless of reported race. Those who self-reported American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, or multiracial were grouped as “other.”

Temporal trends in daily positivity rates (7-day moving average; number positive/number tested over the date and preceding 6 days) and testing volumes stratified by race/ethnicity were evaluated. Total rates of SARS-CoV-2 positivity, hospitalization, and categorical patient characteristics were compared between Latinos and each racial/ethnic group using the χ2 test. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare trends in positivity rates between groups. An omnibus ANOVA comparison with significance set at P < .05 was performed, followed by pairwise comparisons using the Latino group as reference, with correction for multiple comparisons (Tukey test). All analyses were performed with R version 3.6.2; a 2-sided P < .05 determined statistical significance. This work was deemed exempt by the Johns Hopkins Institutional Review Board, meeting criteria for quality improvement.

Martinez DA, Hinson JS, Klein EY, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Rate for Latinos in the Baltimore-Washington, DC Region [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 18]. JAMA. 2020;e2011374. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.11374