This research letter examines population characteristics and hospital bed capacities across the 5 boroughs of New York City (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island) and evaluates whether differences in the rates of COVID-19 testing, hospitalizations, and deaths have emerged in these communities. Findings suggest that lower income and minority communities bear a disproportionate burden of COVID-19.
The authors obtained data on the cumulative number of COVID-19 tests performed, the number of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized, and the number of deaths related to COVID-19 according to borough of residence as of April 25, 2020.
They found that significant variation in the number of COVID-19 tests performed per 100 000 population (4599 in the Bronx; 2970 in Brooklyn; 2844 in Manhattan; 3800 in Queens; and 5603 in Staten Island), and in the number of patients with COVID-19 who were hospitalized per 100 000 population, which was was highest in the Bronx (634) and lowest in Manhattan (331). The number of deaths related to COVID-19 per 100 000 population was also highest in the Bronx (224) and lowest in Manhattan (122).
The Bronx has the highest proportion of racial/ethnic minorities, the most persons living in poverty, the lowest levels of educational attainment, and higher rates of hospitalization and death related to COVID-19 than the other 4 boroughs. The serves in contrast to the rates for hospitalizations and deaths among residents of the most affluent borough, Manhattan, which is composed of a predominately white population.