CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The White House released data confirming what many health experts had already believed that COVID-19 deaths have disproportionately impacted black Americans.

The White House says that while black Americans are 13 percent of the country’s population they represent nearly 24 percent of age-adjusted COVID-19 deaths. Meaning one in four COVID-19 deaths have been of black Americans.

Black residents make up nine percent of state population and they make up 14 percent of healthcare workers in the state. The administration says “a disproportionate number of black Americans serve as frontline workers and as first responders” unfortunately putting themselves at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

New Massachusetts Department of Public Health data shows adults who worked outside of their homes during the pandemic were more than twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those working remotely.

Now local organizations want the vaccine to go to those closest to the virus.

“They need special attention and they need special help because they are on the frontline and close to the disease.” Eva Millona, President of Massachusetts Governor’s Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants

The latest state data shows that nearly 70 percent of first doses have gone to white residents and just five percent to black residents.

The Department of Public Health signed an order requiring vaccine providers to track demographic information such as race for dose recipients.