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New Haven clergy member calls on local government to do more as COVID cases rise in minorities

The discussion of racial disparities in the COVID-19 impact currently happening both nationally and locally

New Haven city leaders continue to track COVID-19 cases to get a better look at case break downs when it comes to things like demographics.

“We have now been collecting data for over a month now and so now we have a better picture and scope of what our cases look like,” director of Public Health Maritza Bond said.

According to the most recent data, African Americans make up 21 percent of cases, people of Hispanic descent make up 13 percent and people who identify as white make up 11 percent of the cases in the city.

The discussion of racial disparities in the COVID-19 impact currently happening both nationally and locally

During a recent news conference, Governor Lamont acknowledged the topic and a chart was presented highlighting African Americans to be the most at-risk population for COVID-19.

“Folks in these underserved communities are less likely to be able to telecommute, more likely to be forward-facing dealing with folks, more likely perhaps to be nurses, more likely to be daycare providers,” Lamont said.

“Here in Connecticut especially in New Haven where there are a number of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in poor communities,” Reverend Boise Kimber said.

The clergy member says he is calling for more transparency from city leaders in COVID-19 cases in relation to race and ethnicity.

”And let this community know and give better results from their data on the number of people who are dying in our community,” Reverend Kimber said.

But Mayor Justin Elicker along with Bond says they too will like to collect more data. Bond explained one of the roadblocks they are having is the entities collecting case information sometimes miss information like demographics.

Bond added, that data collected so far is driving the decisions they are making to create interventions, look at access to testing and also engage community leaders to ensure messages are going out.