Focus turns to COVID-19 hotspots in minority communities as LI approaches Phase 2
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says some minority community COVID-19 hotspots will need to be watched closely as Long Island gears up for a Phase 2 reopening on Wednesday.
"The virus did not attack equally, it hit lower income areas, more minority areas, harder,” the governor said.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says that includes people living in Hempstead, Freeport, Elmont and Westbury.
Curran says once the state started breaking down coronavirus cases by demographics, ethnicity and race – they saw a higher number of cases in communities with large minority populations.
Tia Boyd, of Hempstead, says her mother was one of those people.
"She was on a ventilator for 25 days. She came home for three days and had to be re-intubated for five more days," Boyd told News 12.
Boyd is also a member of Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, where state and local officials set up a COVID-19 testing site in May. It was part of an effort to increase testing in communities that were experiencing higher rates of infection.
Nassau County officials say their efforts to slow the spread of the virus include increasing access to testing and working directly with faith and community leaders to address health disparities.
"We've got a lot of work to do to make sure that all of our communities have the same trust of health care, the same access to health care and the same outcomes – and I am a 100% committed to this," says Curran.
Gov. Cuomo says COVID-19 deaths and infections in communities with large minority populations are likely due to racial disparities in access to health care and underlying health conditions. At his daily briefing Tuesday, he announced a partnership with actor Sean Penn and the nonprofit organization CORE, or Community Organized Relief Effort, to open up more testing sites in communities particularly impacted by the virus.
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