While Black Americans are contracting and dying from coronavirus at a disproportionate rate, in Richmond, Virginia, African Americans make up all of the deaths from coronavirus.
“Of the more than 160 confirmed cases in Richmond, 62 percent are African American, 24 percent white, and a small percentage are Hispanic or multi-racial,” WTVR reported. African Americans comprise 48 percent of the city population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly 20 percent of Virginia’s population is African-American.
“Disaggregating the COVID-19 case information gives us a clearer picture of which members of our community are most impacted and helps inform our strategy to combat the disease,” Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond/Henrico Health District, said.
“Just because you’re Black or brown doesn’t mean you’re going to get COVID-19. Now, what we have to understand is, if you do contract it and you’re Black or brown and have underlying medical conditions, it could lead to your death,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said during a press briefing.
Right now, Virginia has limited reporting on the race of its COVID-19 victims. According to Virginia State Health Commissioner M. Norman Olive, race and ethnicity data is available for only about half the state’s COVID-19 cases and deaths, VPM reported.
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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam admits the state has to do better on collecting racial data in regard to the COVID-19 crisis. “This obligates us to do a better job of tracking racial and demographic data of confirmed cases,” Northam said at a news conference.
“Just as the state can’t say how many patients infected are black, it also can’t say how many African Americans are hospitalized. A national report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that about 33 percent of the patients sick enough to need care were of African descent,” Virginia Pilot reported.