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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.