ST. LOUIS – The latest map of the city’s coronavirus cases by ZIP code shows that black residents continue to be disproportionately effected by the illness.
The city had 882 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus as of Monday, with another 111 people being monitored, the health department reported. Forty people have lost their lives.
The virus attacks men and women about equally, according to the current data; but age makes a significant difference. The group of people ages 60-69 has had the most cases – nearly 180 – so far. Next is the 50-59 age group, followed by – perhaps surprisingly – people ages 30-39.
Across the U.S. as well as in St. Louis, African-Americans are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus, with numbers far above their percentage of the general population. Experts agree that a large factor is the longstanding inequity in health care and economic opportunity.
A regional drive began this month to make sure black residents, in particular, get the word about the dangers of the virus and how to help prevent its spread. The campaign, called PartnershipSTL, is sending outreach workers to majority black neighborhoods, visiting people where they work and live. The outreach workers talk with residents, hand out flyers and help connect people with services they may need.
The workers are stopping by grocery stores and pharmacies, laundromats, check-cashing places and churches to get out the word about social distancing and other good health practices.
Mayor Lyda Krewson said via Twitter, “COVID-19 is affecting all of us, but particularly African Americans at a higher rate.” The outreach, she said, is “important work with a serious message.”