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L.A. County Leadership say that “Testing Accessibility” is their Biggest Defense against Disproportionate COVID-19 Death Rate among African Americans
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 29, 2020

Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director, Public Health (screenshot)

Wednesday, April 29, the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center resumed their gathering after an adjusted schedule yesterday, The L.A. Board of Supervisors held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss an action plan. The plan outlines a foreseeable future in the post pandemic era. Aligned with the California State Governor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles is looking to open low risk brick-and-mortars within the next coming weeks. L.A. County Director of Public Health Dr. Barbara Ferrer, provided the most recent data behind the ethnicity relationship and fatal outcome of COVID-19. There is an undeniable call for action to close the gap in resources within underserved communities. High anticipation is surrounding the images envisioned around the new economy and city infrastructure in the post pandemic era.

There has always been a level of inequality within the resources for underserved communities. Coronavirus has illuminated a preexisting problem, that is now escalating in deaths within the African American communities. There is a correlation of where a person falls on the poverty line and the fatal outcome coronavirus can have. There is nothing that can be done about the transgressions acted out in the past. The predominant issue behind racial inequality has always been swept under the political rug, along with other discriminatory obstacles that create a gap between the haves and the have nots. There is a raising alarm due to this pandemic, over 20-50 lives are lost daily. There is a plan in place to reopen the economy before the plan to recover the hardships and lack of resource in the African American community.

Dr. Ferrer shared the latest updates on the COVID-19 Virus on Wednesday. There were 56 additional deaths, 41 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, 34 of them with underlining health conditions. 9 people who died were between the ages of 41-65, 6 of these victims had preexisting health concerns. 2 people were younger than 41 with underlining health issues. This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 1,056. Barbara disclosed as of April 29.

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There are 1,541 new COVID-19 reports. In summary, there is a total amount of 22,485 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region.

For the 977 fatal cases where race and ethnicity were identified; 13% were African American, 18% were Asian, 38% were LatinX, 28% were white, and 1% were identified as another ethnicity. The disproportionate death rate within the African American community has been recognized. The Public Health Services claim that they are working with community partners to address issues related to access to testing and providing accurate information around COVID-19.

When the focus was brought to the post pandemic plan that prioritizes underserved communities, the answers were stuck in their present outline of what is being done to combat the spread of COVID-19. The public officials pointed to the testing capacity. They noted that they increased testing accessibility in highly populated African American areas in the city. Ferrer stated, “The most immediate focus, however, is to make sure that there is good access to testing.” She acknowledged that there needs to be better care and resources available within vulnerable demographics. But one factor remains, there are plans in place to open the economy, before there are plans to deliver better resources to African American communities and other underserved groups within L.A.

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local
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