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Clinicians from New York, New York, have raised the alarm that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on their local immigrant communities.1 Immigrants may be more susceptible to exposure because more of them work in essential industries or reside in larger multigenerational households.2 Limited English language proficiency (LEP) or low health literacy can present challenges to effective communication about disease transmission.3 Worries about stigma, deportation, or livelihood may supersede those of a health threat, however serious.4 It remains unclear whether these disparities have resulted in lower comparative access to testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a patient-initiated option in all but congregant settings, or in higher rates of infection among immigrants. To clarify this issue, we evaluated the proportion of patients who completed testing and the proportion of positive cases using language as a surrogate for immigrant status.
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Accepted for Publication: August 7, 2020.
Published: September 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.21213
Correction: This article was corrected on October 23, 2020, to fix a column heading in Figure 2.
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2020 Kim HN et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Authors: H. Nina Kim, MD, MSc, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, 325 Ninth Ave, PO Box 359930, Seattle, WA 98104 (firstname.lastname@example.org); Herbert C. Duber, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Ave, PO Box 359930, Seattle, WA 98104 (email@example.com).
Author Contributions: Dr Kim had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: Kim, Nkyekyer, Chew, Duber.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Kim, Lan, Neme, Pierre-Louis, Duber.
Drafting of the manuscript: Kim, Chew.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Kim, Lan.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Chew.
Supervision: Kim, Duber.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Funding/Support: This work was made possible through the support of the University of Washington Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
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