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Coronavirus Total Continues To Rise; Non-White Population Disproportionately Affected

Jun 1, 2020

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dannette Smith

A top state health administrator says the coronavirus pandemic appears to be taking a disproportionate toll on Nebraska’s Hispanic, Asian and black residents. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services CEO Dannette Smith says data compiled so far is startling and state officials need to do more to address the problem. Among the 9,630 infected people whose races are known, Smith says 2,430 were minorities. About 40% of the residents who have been hospitalized with the virus identify as Hispanic, even though that group represents just 11% of the state’s overall population. Nebraska is more than 87% white. Officials say a third Douglas County Corrections employee has tested positive for COVID-19 as the number of virus cases continues to rise in the state. The ill corrections officer is recovering at home, said Corrections Director Mike Myers. The two other officers who contracted the virus have recovered and returned to work.