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L.A. Public Officials Report that African Americans have a higher rate in COVID-19 related deaths
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published April 7, 2020

(Konstantin Postumitenko/Dreamstime/TNS)

Tuesday, April 7. L.A. Public Officials deliver latest news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The solutions to handle the outbreak change daily, as the virus grows to unprecedented numbers and affect all L.A. inhabitants. New data reflects the number of COVID-19 fatalities by ethnicity. The L.A. Public Health Department shared statistical evidence that African Americans have a higher COVID-19 death rate than any other race.

COVID-19 has infiltrated more than the human body, it has taken hold of the essence of everyone’s livelihood. Among the virus spreading and causing severe health concern, schools have been shut down, grocery shopping have new protocols, and over 800,000 people have applied for unemployment on a national scale. Now, as we approach an inevitable surge within the pandemic, Director of the Los Angeles Public Health, Barbara Ferrer shared the latest COVID-19 data surrounding each ethnicity.

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

Ferrer disclosed on April 7. There were 22 additional deaths, 16 of these individuals were between the ages of 65 and over, with underlining health conditions.  This brings the total COVID-19 related deaths in the L.A. County to 169. Preliminary race and ethnicity research confirmed within 93 fatal cases, 19% were Asian, 17% were African American, 28% were Latino, 27% were white and 9% were identified as being another race. Looking at these numbers by the total population of each group, Barbara disclosed as of April 7. African Americans have a “slightly higher rate” of COVID-19 related deaths than other ethnicities.

In the L.A. County, there are 550 new COVID-19 reports reported Tuesday, April 7. In the last 48 hours, there has been 970 COVID-19 cases. These numbers are reflective of 230 incidents in Long Beach and 72 reports coming from Pasadena. Of these new cases, 10 additional individuals who have tested positive were unsheltered.  In summary, there is a total amount of 6,910 coronavirus cases in the Los Angeles region. Approximately 22% of those infected with COVID-19 are hospitalized at some point. Updated statistics is reflecting 2.4% of carriers of the coronavirus have died, which is higher than the general mortality rate for influenza related deaths in the United States.

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The “Drive-thru” testing site at the Pomona Fairplex came online last week. It has shown the capability to test up to 250 people per day, seven days a week. Through that system, 750 individuals have been tested. Another Drive-Thru testing site will come online at the East Los Angeles College by April 8. Testing through these sites remain free of charge; senior citizens and those with underlining health conditions will be prioritized. Public officials are looking to have testing facilities in every corner of the Los Angeles region. On April 6. Governor Gavin Newsom announced the transformation of St. Vincent Medical Center into the official L.A. surge hospital. It will be a temporary facility that will provide relief for the existing positive cases of COVID-19. It is this kind of creative resource, that keeps the healthcare infrastructure intact.

Considering the information that is affecting the African American community directly, it is vital to create a stronger bond in communication and assistance within the collective.  This evidence calls for resources that are far beyond what’s available to the general public. Even at the early stages of research, we are seeing a higher fatality rate than any of our constituents. This virus outlines a tougher fight for those with underlining health problems. The data shows the relationship between COVID-19 related deaths and the existing issue African Americans face. There are numerous studies, showcasing African Americans are at higher risk in major health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and obesity. Continue to be aware, stay informed, and most importantly stay inside for the next 2 weeks, it is very crucial as we approach the predicted surge in increased numbers of positive COVID-19 cases.

Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local
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