WHEREAS,  Racial and ethnic minorities experience a wide variety and multitude of health and healthcare disparities, and many of these disparities have widened over past decades (1); and

WHEREAS,  African Americans and Hispanics in Virginia were significantly more likely to report unsafe neighborhoods, and research has associated perceived unsafe neighborhoods with poorer physical health, mental health, and reduced social connections (2); and

WHEREAS,  There is strong evidence for poor health among socioeconomically disadvantaged, racial, and ethnic minority populations in Virginia, and African Americans in Virginia live 3-5 fewer years than Whites on average (2); and

WHEREAS,  The higher mortality and infection rates seen in communities of color during the COVID pandemic has drawn attention to these disparities nationally and locally (3); and

WHEREAS,  The reporting of race during the collection of COVID-19 data in Virginia has been partial and inconsistent, thereby making it difficult to estimate the true impact of the pandemic on communities of color within the state (4);

WHEREAS,  Many states have established health equity task forces within state health departments to identify vulnerable populations and address the health disparities underpinning the susceptibility of these communities to COVID (5)[i];

RESOLVED, The MSV supports the Virginia Department of Health in collecting data that accurately captures rates of disease prevalence, diagnosis, treatment, morbidity, and mortality among varying demographics, and supports continued research into the social determinants of health in the Commonwealth.


i1. National Center for Health Statistics (US. “Health, United States, 2015: With special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities.” (2016).

2. Virginia Department of Health, 2012. Virginia Health Equity Report 2012. Richmond.

3. 2020 The Covid Tracking Project. Racial Data Dashboard. CovidTracking.com

4. Yancy CW. COVID-19 and African Americans. JAMA. 2020;323(19):1891–1892. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.6548

5. National Academy for State Health Policy. (July 2020). How States Collect Data, Report, and Act on COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities. Retrieved from: https://www.nashp.org/how-states-report-covid-19-data-by-race-and-ethnicity/#tab-id-3

3 replies
  1. MSV51243
    MSV51243 says:

    Racial and ethnic data collection

    I am a volunteer for the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps and participate in Covid testing every week in Western Tidewater.  Everyone who is tested is asked what race they identify with, and the data is collected.  

  2. Zedler
    Zedler says:

    Not our fight

    MSV has neither the resouces or the numbers to push this. If you are passionate find another way

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