Blacks, Hispanics drive down virus infection rates

Long Island’s predominantly minority communities have driven down COVID-19 infection rates that were the Island’s highest at the peak of the pandemic in a public health success described by experts as one of the most successful turnarounds in the United States.

Since the end of August, the coronavirus has appeared in communities where Black and Hispanic residents make up more than half the population at lower rates than in other areas of Long Island, according to a Newsday analysis of reported case numbers.

The data marks the culmination of a five-month turnaround.

In April, confirmed cases of the coronavirus surfaced in communities that are home largely to minority residents at more than twice the rate that cases appeared in places populated mostly by others.

But starting in early July, the presence of the virus equalized across both Nassau and Suffolk counties, flattening a once sizable racial and ethnic disparity

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