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COVID-19 Lightfoot, CDPH, unions come together regarding surge in Latinx cases
2020-05-06

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On May 6, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) joined union leaders to announce a new phase in the city's plan to address the racial health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak, including new data showing the disproportionate impact on Chicago's Latinx community.

As part of a response plan, the city has formed a partnership with SEIU Local 1, UNITE HERE Local 1 and the Construction and General Laborers' District Council of Chicago and Vicinity to better protect essential workers and address inequities across the city. The unions will work in partnership with the city's Racial Equity Rapid Response team to activate a new phase of the response plan, engaging the most impacted communities in an effort to build greater equity in health outcomes.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases throughout Chicago continues to increase, and over the past month the data show an increasingly disproportionate impact on the Latinx community. In early April, the Latinx population represented 14 percent of cases and 9 percent of deaths. However, new data now show Latinx Chicagoans represent 37 percent of cases and 25 percent of deaths.

African Americans also continue to represent a disproportionate percentage of cases ( 36 percent ) and deaths ( 52 percent ), but Latinx residents now make up the largest percentage of cases.

As of May 5, COVID-19 demographic data show 7,156 Latinx Chicagoans, 6,967 black Chicagoans, 3,381 white Chicagoans and 636 Asian Chicagoans had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Notably, in spite of efforts to improve reporting, about 28 percent of test results still lack race and ethnicity data; however, in the cases of death, only 3 percent of the same data is missing.

Last month, CDPH issued a public health order enhancing medical data-sharing requirements for all acute care and long-term hospitals, in line with Mayor Lightfoot's commitment to transparency and in order to better support the City's ability to track COVID-19 and its impact on individuals and communities. CDPH is releasing updated demographic data daily during the COVID-19 pandemic at Chicago.gov/coronavirus .


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