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, Irvin NA, Saheed M, Page KR, Levin SR. SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Rate for Latinos in the Baltimore-Washington, DC Region. JAMA. 2020 Jul 28;324(4):392-395. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.11374. PMID: 32556212; PMCID: PMC7303900.