Virtually 600 US healthcare staff have died of COVID-19 and the vast majority of them are folks of colour

Nurses protest against the lack of personal protection equipment amid the covid-19 pandemic in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 21, 2020.

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Almost 600 US healthcare workers died of COVID-19 during the pandemic, according to a new database published by the Guardian and Kaiser Health News. 

According to the project, called “Lost on the Frontline,” people of color make up the majority of COVID-19 deaths among healthcare workers. 

The project is a comprehensive count of COVID-19 deaths in the industry, tracking factors including race and ethnicity, locations, age, and whether the workers had access to personal protective equipment.

The full, updated database is set to be fully released in the summer to offer insight into the workings — and failures — of the US healthcare system during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Almost 600 healthcare workers in the US have died of COVID-19, with a majority being people of color according to a project launched by the Guardian and Kaiser Health News. 

The number accounts for doctors, nurses, and paramedics, but also includes other essential healthcare staff such as hospital janitors, administrators, and nursing home workers. 

The project called “Lost on the Frontline” aims to “count, verify, and memorialize” every US healthcare worker who died during the pandemic.

It consists of an extensive, interactive, and updated database that will track factors including race and ethnicity, age, profession, location, and whether the workers had access to personal protective equipment (PPE)or not.

Of the numbers they have recorded so far, the Guardian and KHN found that people of color made up the majority of the healthcare workers who died from COVID-19. Most of them are either African American or Asian/Pacific Islanders.

The database is the most comprehensive count of US health care workers’ deaths outside of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has only counted 368 coronavirus deaths in the industry so far but has admitted that the tally is an undercount. 

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Information about healthcare workers has been collected from a range of sources, including media reports, family and friends, unions, and colleagues of the deceased. The full database will be released this summer, offering insight into the workings — and failings — of the US healthcare system during the coronavirus outbreak. 

The White House saw several demonstrations during the pandemic by healthcare workers pushing for adequate (PPE). Nurses in New York have also filed three lawsuits that allege “grossly inadequate and negligent protections.”

“Don’t call me a hero,” one New York City nurse told Business Insider. “Instead, show your support by believing us when we say we need much more PPE.”

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