Local leaders work to support minorities hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Minority communities are being hit hard by the coronavirus. Here in Clark County that includes African Americans.

The Southern Nevada Health District is seeing what agencies across the country are seeing —communities of color being disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.

But local leaders are trying to change that.

“It’s been said that when our country gets the flu, the African American community gets pneumonia,” said Leisa Moseley, Executive Board Member of the Clark County Black Caucus.

New data from SNHD shows that while African Americans make up around 12% of Clark County’s population, they account for more than 16% of COVID-19 deaths.

Experts agree one main reason is lack of access to health care, but other factors are at play.

“We don’t always have access to safe environments, safe housing, to be able to distance ourselves,” Moseley said. “We still rely heavily on public transportation.”

Education is also key, which is why Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly is taking to the airwaves, to inform the black community about COVID-19.

“I just believe that it’s up to all of us to get out and do our part and that’s why I have a PSA that’s going out,” Weekly said.

Steps are also being taken on the federal level. U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford just introduced legislation, that would mandate the CDC to collect and publically report all racial information related to the virus.

“You need this data in order to then target the places that need testing, that need tracking, that need tracing, and treatment,” Congressman Horsford said. “We need to have mobile testing, we need to go and reach the communities where they are.” 

Congressman Horsford knows there’s a nationwide need for testing, but he says test kits must go to the most vulnerable areas.

“I’m working right now to try to secure additional money in the next CARES 2.0 package, that would fund our local community health centers,” Congressman Horsford said. “Unless every community is safe, then none of us are really safe.”

For a full look at the data from the health district, CLICK HERE.

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