(WXYZ) — The State of Michigan said Monday that new data shows progress has been made to reduce the racial disparities of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Michigan.
According to the numbers from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Black residents now account for 8.2% of COVID-19 cases and 9.9% of deaths. THat's compared to the early days of the pandemic when they represented 29.4% of the cases and 40.7% of the deaths. Black residents make up only 15% of Michigan's population.
“The aggressive action we have taken in Michigan has no doubt saved thousands of lives, especially among our most vulnerable communities – people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The state created the Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities which was led by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.
“We have reason to be proud of the hard work and progress made to reduce the disparate impact of COVID-19 on Black people,” Gilchrist said. “However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic that continues to take the lives of our friends and family. We still have work to do to tackle generations of racial disparities and inequality to ensure that all Michiganders can lead happy and healthy lives."
The task force studied the cause of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19.
The state said the task force helped distribute large quantities of masks to the public, launched efforts targeted at communities of color, collaborated with regional racial disparity task forces and increased access to coronavirus testing in communities of color.
“Swift actions have been taken to address the health inequities that existed prior to the pandemic and were exacerbated by the virus. Access to testing and adequate resources to protect communities of color will continue to be a priority as we fight COVID-19.” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy for Health at MDHHS. “I applaud the racial disparities task force and the multiple partners on the ground who helped decrease this disparity. However, we cannot let our guard down. We must continue to take precautions including wearing masks, maintaining social distancing of at least six feet from others, washing our hands often and staying home if we are feeling ill.”
The state also announced Monday the Rapid Response Grand program, which awarded 31 grants worth nearly $20 million to local organizations.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
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