Nearly 1 In 500 Children Have Lost A Caregiver To COVID-19

By Jason Hall

October 7, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

More than 140,000 children have lost a parent or caretaker to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published on Thursday (October 7).

ABC News reports the study considered data from April 2020 to June 2021 focusing on the trauma children have faced during the pandemic, despite the virus largely targeting adults.

Nearly one in 500 children have lost a caretaker since April 2020, according to the study.

Children of color -- Black, Hispanic or Native American -- however, have accounted for almost seven of every 10 who lost a parent or caretaker to COVID-19, the study showed.

According to the study's data, one out of every 168 American Indian and Alaska Native child has lost a parent or grandparent that served as a caretaker, one out of 310 Black children lost a caretaker and one out of every 753 White children lost a caretaker.

The study also showed the largest number of caretaker deaths came among Hispanic families living near the Southern border, Black families living in Southeastern states and and states with tribal areas for American Indian/Alaska Native populations.

"We were quite disturbed by the racial and ethnic disparities that were appearing in our data," Susan Hillis, the lead author on the CDC study, told ABC News.

The authors of the study called for federal attention and resources to be placed on addressing trauma faced by children who've experienced loss during the pandemic, which continues to grow amid the recent delta variant surge in the U.S., ABC News reports.

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