Reports Detail Disproportionate COVID Impact, Ohio’s Plan to Address Disparities

Gov. Mike DeWine yesterday released the final Minority Health Strike Force report and the state's executive response. The Minority Health Strike Force was formed in April to examine the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority communities, as well as broader health disparities and racial injustices.
 
About 14% of the state's population is Black, but about 25% of Ohio's COVID-19 cases, 32% of hospitalizations and 19% of COVID-19 deaths are among Black Ohioans. The disparity in initial COVID-19 data spurred creation of the task force.
 
The COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint lists 34 recommendations on dismantling racism, removing public health obstacles, improving the social/economic and physical environments, and strengthening data collection to better track disparities. In response to the Strike Force's report, the governor issued Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity. The action plan outlines efforts to reinforce the DeWine Administration's commitment to advancing health equity and establishing Ohio as a model for justice, equity, opportunity, and resilience.

Recommendations include expanding testing capacity and access for minority and high-risk population, increasing culturally appropriate and accessible virus tracing and exposure notification services for communities of color and implementing a COVID-19 patient protection advocacy and ombudsman process.

The governor also announced the creation of the Ohio Governor's Equity Advisory Board, which will be a permanent, ongoing group that will help guide leaders as they address the underlying conditions and root causes contributing to disparities in life and health in Ohio.

Another 1,178 Ohioans were diagnosed with COVID-19 as of today, which is slightly below the three-week average of 1,202 new cases reported per day. The total number of cases across the state now stands at 105,426. Check out the state's dashboards for expanded and updated stats.