Phila. Releases Interim COVID-19 Racial Equity Plan
Posted by City of Philadelphia on August 18, 2020
Black residents of Philadelphia are 50 percent more likely to die from complications of the novel coronavirus, and the highest virus-related death rates in the city are among Hispanics 75 and older.
Racial disparities have been evident, in Philadelphia and elsewhere, since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city’s Department of Public Health released its Coronavirus Interim Racial Equity Plan in an attempt to eliminate or shrink those inequities.
Increasing the number of testing sites, the creation of a racially-focused virus response team and training health department employees are among the initiatives outlined in the 17-page document.
“Racial inequities in health do not spring from the novel coronavirus,” the plan states. “They are the result of longstanding, structural inequities that are present all around us: in housing, in work, in education, in health care, in our criminal justice system and in our environments.”
“Right now, we need to do everything in our power to ensure that COVID-19 does not further exacerbate existing inequities,” it continues.
The plan was drawn up by a diverse group of stakeholders, according to a news release.
Officials say they have already taken steps by providing funding to groups serving people of color, including the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and Esperanza, and hiring a diverse contact tracing team.
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