CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Officials from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health addressed the area’s latest cases of the coronavirus in the area and the demographics of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19.
The county’s medical director, Dr. Heidi Gullett, broke down case information by race and age specifics during Friday’s regular briefing.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Health confirmed at least 23 deaths and 1,014 cases of COVID-19 in Cuyahoga County and Cleveland.
The ages of those individuals ranges from 1 week to 101 years old.
According to county health data, approximately 39% of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were identified as African-Americans.
Dr. Gullett said she believes that the number of African-Americans is underreported because of the lack of access to transportation to testing sites, and individuals are primarily being screened only if they are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.
“It’s important to remember that these disparities and inequities did not emerge with COVID-19,” Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Allan added. “They relate back to our original sin of racial injustice in this community.”
Approximately 44% of positive tests are in individuals who identify as white.
For comparison, Cuyahoga County’s demographic breakdown consists of a 64% white population and 31% African-American population, according to census data.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health officials are continuing to analyze how different races are affected by the coronavirus, and how health in their communities is impacted by factors like housing density, transportation barriers, and job statuses.