COLUMBUS — The data and history is clear, black people are being diagnosed with the coronavirus more than their white counterparts.
“Health disparities did not occur overnight,” said Governor Mike Dewine. "They are complex and present complex challenges. The current coronavirus pandemic has brought into light.”
DeWine spent most of Thursday’s news conference addressing those disparities, then talked about what we need to do now.
"To truly change things, we must address the social conditions that drive 70% of our health outcomes,” he said. "Things such as health care access, so very, very important. Education so very important. As well as housing, transportation, employment, availability of nutritious food gathering and using data is key to understanding the problem. It's also key to finding the solutions.”
The governor started a minority strike task force last month, made up of 41 leaders across our state with ties to minority communities.
They were tasked with helping to work towards a solution.
In their preliminary report that is expected to come out Thursday, they recommend more pointed messaging about the pandemic geared directly to African Americans.
They want more testing to be available in black communities and they want those test to be accessible and well as good healthcare options.
The strike force also wants to see collaboration between their agency and others.
"You cannot talk about messaging, testing, accessibility and collaboration without dollars, so data drives dollars,” said Yvonka Hall, the executive director of the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition.
Hall is not on the strike force, but has been in touch with some of its members who she speaks of highly.
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See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.
The federal government has begun distributing $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans to help relieve the economic burden caused by coronavirus. Click here for everything you need to know about checking the status and receiving these payments.
The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face mask from common household materials, without having to know how to sew.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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