BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Del. Nick Mosby sent a letter to Gov. Larry Hogan Tuesday asking him to release additional coronavirus-related data around race and zip codes.
Specifically, Mosby wants the number of positive and negative tests, hospitalizations and deaths by race and ZIP code.READ MORE: WATCH: Mayor Brandon Scott & Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa To Provide COVID-19 Update Thursday
In early April, Hogan directed the state’s health department to publish information on racial and ethnic breakdowns of COVID-19 cases, but Mosby wants to go further.
Doing so, he said, would make sure the state’s response to COVID-19 is targeted and effective.
“It ensures that whatever plans that we’re developing especially when you have a scarcity of resources and personnel, that you are effectively and equitably using those resources and personnel,” Mosby said.
In a news release, he added that Baltimore fits the pattern of other urban areas when it comes to the virus:
“We cannot fully examine the disproportionalities already presented to us if we do not have the complete picture of the data. We need this real-time to data to ensure we have the resources to go after the areas of concern and to fully understand the totality of this virus. The data provides us with the information we need to micro-target these areas from an engagement, testing, and from a treatment perspective.”
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Sherita Golden, the chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that in hard-hit New York City, the death rate in African American and Hispanic communities is nearly twice as high as it is in white and Asian American communities.
It’s important to collaborate with state agencies to get high-quality self-identified data, she said.
“So race, ethnicity and gender should also be stratified by language, people with limited English proficiency are going to have particular challenges navigating the healthcare system,” Golden said.
Mosby also wants Hogan to implement a Racial Health Disparities Task Force to assist with review the racial disparity data and plan for a second wave of the virus, saying other governors have implemented similar task forces.
“The fact that we were administering a program in the height of this crisis without factoring in looking at zip code data and looking at race and ethnicity data, right there presents a problem,” Mosby said.
Mosby’s proposal calls for the task force to be made up of public health officials, medical professionals, non-profit organizations and community groups.
In a statement, Hogan’s office said, “We appreciate all of the letters we have received from Delegate Mosby, and his leadership on this issue.”MORE NEWS: Camp Hashawa In Carroll County Welcomes Back Campers, Counselors & Staff