Increase in COVID cases in the African American community

Between April 1 and May 25, African Americans were twice as likely to test positive for the virus and 80% more likely to be hospitalized than whites.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Despite the availability of vaccines for people 12 and older, Multnomah County health officials are concerned about the increase in cases and hospitalizations within the African American community. Health official Dr Jennifer Vines said it was a signal the system was not adequately serving blacks and African Americans.

“We are seeing blacks and African Americans arriving sicker and probably later in their illness,” said Dr. Vines. “We want to make sure they have a place to go that is welcoming and culturally specific.”

Figures from Multnomah County show that between April 1 and May 25, African Americans were twice as likely to test positive for the virus and 80% more likely to be hospitalized than whites. Data also shows that vaccination rates for people of African descent are the second lowest in the state, at around 37% with a single dose.

Libra Forde works for the nonprofit Self Enhancement, Inc. Forde said she was alarmed by the numbers.

“It reminds me of my immediate family,” Forde said. “I think of my mother, my grandmother, I think of my grandfather, I think of my brother, I think of so many people who are like me, maybe this is their reality.”

Self Enhancement, Inc. has worked to provide vaccine access to African Americans. Last summer, they organized a COVID-19 testing site. They also organized two immunization clinics in the spring, where 3,000 people were vaccinated.

“I think culturally specific planning is important because it makes you think, culturally, of where someone would look for these access points,” Forde said. “At SEI, we know a lot of people are calling us for information, which is why we have organized these events, because culturally they are going to call us. “

SEI is planning more vaccine events this summer.

Multnomah County’s REACH program is working to improve access to vaccines. There is a clinic this Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School in northeast Portland.

More stories related to KGW COVID-19:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries


Source link

Comments are closed.