BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Despite African Americans making up a majority of the coronavirus cases in Maryland, the city’s health commissioner said a widespread rumor is hurting efforts to educate city residents.

Health commissioner Dr. Letita Dzirasa said Tuesday the city plans to increase its messaging and outreach efforts to make sure people understand that no one is immune from COVID-19.

READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?

READ MORE: Baltimore Has Seen Progress In Flattening Curve, But Mayor Says ‘This Is No Time To Let Up’

“Unfortunately, there is a persistent rumor that African Americans are immune to coronavirus. This is false, and the data shows this is a very dangerous belief,” she said.


READ MORE: Maryland Zoo Reopens Oldest Section Of Facility As Walking Path

Initial racial demographic data of coronavirus cases in the city and across the state also shows African Americans have a higher rate of fatality than whites, she said.

Among the steps, Dzirasa outlined the city will increase “culturally-relevant signage” at places such as corner stores and bus stops, where some city residents are still gathering despite a stay-at-home order and health officials urging people to practice social distancing.

As of Tuesday, there were 962 cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths reported in the city.

MORE NEWS: Capital Gazette Shooting: Maryland Officials React To Shooter's Sentence

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.