By: Revive Omaha Staff
May 13, 2020
Over 75% of Coronavirus cases in Douglas County are people of color.
Urgent Warning. The Pandemic is not over. The numbers are on a stunning rise especially among African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos and Asians. In the past 11 days (May 2 – May 13), cases among African Americans have increased from 108 to 228, Asians from 79 to 281 and Hispanic/Latinos a staggering 142 to 837.
Kenny McMorris, CEO of Charles Drew Health Center had this to say: “We have long known that when it comes to health outcomes in America, inequalities have persisted along racial lines. The recent coronavirus pandemic has shined an ugly light on these disparities as severe cases of COVID 19, the illness caused by the virus, are disproportionately affecting African American communities at a higher rate.”
According to Douglas County, some of the spike is related to increased testing and a higher percentage of positive tests. Officials also say the meatpacking plants are also contributing significantly to this increase.
The increases indicate that a large number of residents in Douglas County and the City of Omaha are walking around in their communities with the Coronavirus and they are not aware that they have the disease. They are not showing any symptoms but can pass the virus on to others. This is urgent and important. This is still an emergency.
We must follow the advice and guidance of local and national health professionals and community leaders including Douglas County Health Director – Dr. Adi Pour, Charles Drew Health Center CEO – Kenny McMorris, County Commissioner and Chair of the Douglas County Board of Health – Chris Rodgers, experienced local physicians and NIAID director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
They are giving loud warnings to our communities that THIS IS NOT OVER. They are telling us there’s danger in moving too soon. Dr. Fauci in his testimony before Congress this week, said governmental agencies should be very careful in reopening and if done too soon risk accelerating the spread of the virus.
They are basically saying, “Do not reopen stores, restaurants and churches too quickly and stay home unless you absolutely need to go out.” When you go out, you must wear a mask or at the minimum a cloth face covering. There are far too many individuals still going to stores and other locations without masks.
We understand the importance of reopening the economy. People are suffering without jobs and wages to support their homes. And, we realize most are ready to resume their normal lifestyles. We support reopening after we’ve seen two weeks of declining cases as recommended by local and national health professionals. We have not seen two weeks of decreases, but rather a dramatic increase in the number of cases. Let’s work together the next few weeks to get things under control before we reopen.
Dr. Adi Pour reminds us that “underlying illnesses, i.e. diabetes, asthma, hypertension, obesity, makes someone vulnerable to the virus and can result in more severe outcomes.”
Douglas County has seen a major spike in Coronavirus cases in the past few weeks. It appears that many in the community are beginning to relax and put down their guards because of the roll back of some health directives and measures. We must stay vigilant.
For North Omaha as of May 13th, zip code 68014 has had 1,001 tested with 172 positive. Of those testing positive, 43.6% are Asian, 15.7% are African-American and 14.3% are Hispanic.
In zip code 68111, there have been 747 tested with 120 positive. Of those testing positive, 36.7% are Asian, 24.2% are African-American and 27.5% are Hispanic.
In zip code 68110, there have been 493 tested with 59 positive. Of those testing positive, 28.8% are Asian, 35.6% are African-American and 18.6% are Hispanic.
African-American and North Omaha leaders are strongly encouraging you to Stay Home, Stay Safe and Support the Village.
Please share this information and keep your family and community safe.
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Support the Village!