Disparities in morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19 based on race and ethnicity have been documented in the USA. However, it is unclear if these disparities also exist at the exposure stage. To determine this, studies are needed to document the underlying burden of disease, potential disparities through serologic surveillance. Additionally, such studies can help identify where along the disease spectrum (e.g., exposure, infection, diagnosis, treatment, death) and with regard to the structural factors that necessitate public health and/or clinical interventions. Our objectives in this study were to estimate the true burden of SARS CoV-2 in the community of Essex County, NJ, an early and hard hit area, to determine the correlates of SARS CoV-2 prevalence and to determine if COVID-19 disparities seen by race/ethnicity were also reflected in SARS CoV-2 burden. We utilized venue-based-sampling (VBS) to sample members of the community in Essex County. Participants completed a short electronic survey and provided finger stick blood samples for testing. We sampled 924 residents of Essex County, New Jersey. Testing conducted in this study identified 83 (9.0%) participants as positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Importantly, our findings suggest that the true burden of SARS-Cov-2 and the pool of persons potentially spreading the virus are slightly more than six times than that suggested by PCR testing Notably, there were no significant differences in odds of testing positive for SARS CoV-2 antibodies in terms of race/ethnicity where we compared Black and Latinx participants to other race participants. Our study suggests that disparities in COVID-19 outcomes stem from potential upstream issues such as underlying conditions, access to testing, and access to care rather than disparities in exposure to the virus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- SARS CoV-2