Governor DeWine announced two tools for the Ohio coronavirus website to help track those disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.
DeWine started his portion of the press conference by addressing that there have been clear racial disparities in COVID-19 cases. He clarified that these disparities are nothing new.
African American babies are two and a half times more likely to die in the first year than white babies, and African American women have a life expectancy four years shorter than white women.
African Americans in Ohio are also two and a half times more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.
This racial disparity is evidenced in the coronavirus data. 14 to 15 percent of Ohio’s population is African-American, but 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases are African-American.
31 percent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases are African-American and they make of 17 percent of COVID-19 related deaths.
Latinos make up 3.9 percent of the Ohio population and they make up 6 percent of the positive COVID-19 cases.
“Knowing that some of our citizens are disproportionately at risk as far as health is concerned, based simply on their zip codes, is something that should shock all of us,” said DeWine.
To combat these disparities, DeWine announced two new tools:
- The first is a map that allows people to access county-level COVID-19 data by race and ethnic background. The map demonstrates the disparity across Ohio and can be used to guide social services.
- The second is not coronavirus related. It is a map that can help target vulnerable populations using what DeWine called the Ohio opportunity index.
The index is measured by 7 factors including things like transportation and education.
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