ORLANDO, Fla. — Anyone can get the coronavirus, but the U.S. Surgeon General said this week African-Americans are at greater risk of getting COVID-19. Nationwide research supports that claim, but the numbers in Florida may be bucking the trend.
- Early data shows COVID-19 cases among African-Americans reflect Florida population
- This seems to bunk the national trend in cities elsewhere in the country
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While experts are still going through the numbers, they say they’re not seeing a disproportionate amount of African-Americans getting the coronavirus in Florida.
Across the county, African-Americans only make up about 13 percent of the U.S. population, that’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Cities and states are discovering a glaring disparity, more African-Americans are dying from the Coronavirus.
This week, Chicago reported 72 percent of people who died from COVID-19 were African-American. They only make up about 30 percent of the city’s population.
Louisiana reported 70 percent of coronavirus deaths were African Americans, who make up 32 percent of the population.
In Florida the numbers are different.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the state reported 323 coronavirus deaths. Of those, 17 percent were African American, mirroring the state’s African-American population.
Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County says early numbers are showing fewer African-Americans getting coronavirus in Orange County.
“The early data that we are looking at, it seems like caucasians are getting it more than Afro-Americans," said Pino.
He says one factor is density, centered on how many people are living in one particular home or area.
Orlando pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones agrees. She says cities and states seeing a high number of African American Coronavirus deaths could be because people are living closer together.
"I know here in Florida we tend to live in homes or apartments or single unit families, and maybe in the inner cities that living situation is much more different and or densely populated." Jones said.
She also says socioeconomic status and available medical resources play a part in other cities seeing higher numbers.
“That could be your lack of insurance, your lack of access to healthcare. Your economic status, your educational status," Dr. Jones said.
Orange County leaders project cases to possibly reach 1000 by the end of this week. Overall coronavirus cases are expected to reach a peak in the next two weeks.