WXXI AM News

African Americans dying of COVID-19 at almost triple the rate of white people in Monroe County

Jun 5, 2020

African Americans in Monroe County have higher rates of COVID-19 diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths than any other racial or ethnic group, according to figures published Friday by the county health department and the Center for Community Health and Prevention at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

White people in the county experienced the lowest rates of the disease, the numbers showed.

Friday's statistics are a local example of a national trend that finds racial and ethnic minorities overrepresented in coronavirus data. Monroe County public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza has said that structural racism makes minority residents uniquely vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.

Black people in Monroe County are dying of COVID-19 at almost three times the rate of white people, according to the health department's figures.

Older adults continued to be particularly at risk of death. Nearly 30% of people over 85 years old who were diagnosed with the disease had died from it, according to the county and the community health center.

No new deaths were reported on Friday, the county said, so the total death toll remained at 230 people.

The number of people in hospitals for COVID-19 treatment in the county fell for the fifth straight day. There were 168 people hospitalized on Friday, the county said. Of those, 16 were on ventilators in intensive care units.