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Adapting Peter Walker and Kyle Slugg’s analysis of URISA’s GISCorpsCoders Against COVID, Esri, U.S. Census data; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, areas with largely white populations have had access to more testing sites than communities that are predominantly made up of people of color.

Why it matters: Black and Latino people are already more susceptible to infection and serious illness, and racial disparities in testing only contribute to that problem.

By the numbers: The whole country struggled to ramp up testing throughout the spring, but the ZIP codes with large white populations started off with more testing sites, and still have more testing sites, than ZIP codes with more people of color.

  • ZIP codes where the population is at least 75% white have an average of one testing site for every 14,500 people, according to an analysis by researchers Peter Walker and Kyle Slugg of the COVID Tracking Project, using data from Coders Against COVID.
  • In ZIP codes that are at least 75% people of color, it's an average of one site per 23,300 people.

Yes, but: This analysis only includes ZIP codes with at least one testing site. But nearly two-thirds of rural counties — home to some 21 millions of people — have no testing sites at all, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Surgo Foundation.

  • Racial disparities persist there, too. The Surgo Foundation found that 35% of the rural Black population lives in "highly vulnerable testing desert." Black Americans face an above-average risk of living in a testing desert, and in areas where cases are increasing.

The bottom line: The racial inequities baked into the U.S. health care system are a defining feature of this pandemic.

Go deeper

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a no-sail order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.
Sep 30, 2020 - Health

COVID-19 cases on the rise among U.S. children

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An increasing number of COVID-19 cases among school-aged children across the U.S. throughout September may be linked to school reopenings and other community activities resuming.

Driving the news: The American Academy of Pediatrics reported this week that children of all ages make up 10% of U.S cases, up from 2% in April, per AP. As of Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 435,000 cases among children ages 0–17, and 93 deaths.