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Six more die of COVID-19 in Monroe County

May 1, 2020

The Monroe County public health department confirmed six new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, bringing the total death toll to 121.

The health department said 40 more people tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes the disease.

The number of positive cases remains an undercount of the virus’s prevalence in the community, however, as testing capacity is growing but is still short of what’s needed to test everyone with symptoms of the virus.

Updated demographic information from the county health department showed black residents overrepresented in every available breakdown of coronavirus statistics.
Credit Monroe County Department of Public Health

Updated demographic information from the county health department showed black residents overrepresented in every available breakdown of coronavirus statistics.

In some cases, the disproportionality was small: Black people are 16% of the county’s population and 19% of the county’s coronavirus deaths.

In other statistical categories, the discrepancies were stark: Black people accounted for nearly 40% of the people hospitalized for COVID-19 since the epidemic began. White people, who are 70% percent of the county’s residents, made up only 44% of those hospitalized.

Structural racism explains those divergences, county public health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza has said. Two local health providers opened clinics in areas of the county where many people of color live in an effort to get those communities better access to coronavirus tests and care.