DETROIT – When COVID-19 hit the State of Michigan saw the impact on Black and brown communities.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says those disparities have dramatically decreased.
While Black Americans make up 15 percent of Michigan’s population, they accounted for half of deaths in the early days of tracking COVID-19 data.
Lieutenant Gov. of Michigan, Garlin Gilchrist, launched the coronavirus task force on racial disparities.
He says it has helped the state dramatically reduce the number of African Americans who have been impacted by the coronavirus.
The state created the rapid response grant program to help local organizations tackle racial disparities.
Additionally, the task force distributed large quantities of masks to people of color and increased access to testing through drive though, walk up and mobile testing sites.
So far the state has awarded 31 grants totaling nearly $20 million. The funding covers food and housing insecurity needs, technology and access to testing and flu vaccines.
As of Monday, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 122,735, including 6,731 deaths, state officials report.