Giving Compass' Take:

• Research from Johns Hopkins University reveals that COVID-19 is infecting and killing incarcerated people at a rate that far exceeds the general public. 

• How can funders ensure health safety in prisons during COVID and beyond? 

• Read about the potential for prison COVID-19 outbreaks to teach us about herd immunity

The number of incarcerated people in the United States who tested positive for COVID-19 is 5.5 times higher per capita than the infection rate for the US general population, research finds.

The researchers also found that after adjusting for age and sex differences between the two groups, the coronavirus death rate is three times higher for prisoners compared to the general US population.

The study confirms long-reported concerns that incarcerated people are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with infection rates exceeding 65% in several facilities that were part of the study. The findings appear online in JAMA.

COVID-19 cases in prisons increased by 8.3% per day, compared to 3.4% in the general population. The analysis includes COVID-19 cases among prisoners, including active confirmed cases, recoveries, and decedents, posted on publicly available data sources such as correction departments’ websites, news reports, and press releases—sources that may not reflect the full scope of the problem.

Read the full article about the COVID-19 death rate from Johns Hopkins University at Futurity.