The Crusader Newspaper Group

High COVID-19 deaths among Blacks in September

About 60 Blacks in Chicago died from COVID-19 in September, tying August for the highest number of fatalities since May, but in Cook County more Blacks died from the disease, ac- cording to a Crusader analysis of data from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Chicago fatalities equal August’s statistics that showed Blacks in Chicago had 60 COVID-19 deaths, more than any other ethnic group despite being nearly 29 percent of the city’s population. This time, Chicago’s white population had the most COVID-19 deaths.

Overall in Cook County, there were 296 deaths in September. There were 101 COVID-19 deaths among Black residents, higher than last month, where 80 Blacks died from the disease.

It was the second-highest among Cook County’s ethnic groups.

The group with the highest COVID-19 fatalities in Cook County and Chicago were whites. According to health data, there were a total of 134 deaths in Cook County, including 68 in Chicago. Latinos had 48 COVID-19 deaths in Cook County, including 30 in Chicago.

The 60 COVID-19 deaths among Blacks in September include 50 females and 51 males. Four victims were in their 20s, two in their 30s and 13 were in their 40s. Twenty-three of the Black victims were in their 60s, the largest age group among the fatalities.

Austin (60644) and Washington Park and Woodlawn (60637) had the most fatalities with three COVID-19 deaths each.

In Chicago, 5,970 residents have died from COVID-19, including 2,416 Blacks, 1,940 Latinos and 1,293 whites. Statewide, 25,076 people have died, including 4,617 Blacks, 3,841 Latinos and 15,370 whites.

Nationally, 703,278 people have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 66,877 American Blacks have died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide, 4,808,307 people have died from COVID-19.

Last month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health announced Protect Chicago 77 – a new, citywide community engagement campaign to ensure that at least 77 percent of all Chicago residents ages 12 and up have started their COVID-19 vaccination series by the end of the year.

“Getting vaccinated remains the best way to be protected against COVID-19 and its variants, and to protect your loved ones and community,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “That’s why I’m taking the Protect Chicago 77 pledge, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well so we can reach a citywide vaccination rate of 77 percent. From stopping the spread of vaccine misinformation to supporting businesses in one’s community that make vaccine safety a priority, or even talking to that reluctant family member about why it’s so important to step up at this moment, every resident can do something meaningful to help us reach this vital vaccination milestone.”

Equity has been at the center of the City’s vaccine rollout from the beginning and remains so as part of Protect Chicago 77. Working closely with local community stakeholders to develop tailored vaccination and engagement strategies to help residents in those neighborhoods get vaccinated has always been key to the City’s equitable COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Bringing even more partners on board to support this work – residents, businesses, organizations, and health care providers – will be key to reaching the Protect Chicago 77 goal of having at least 77 percent of adults and eligible children in the city with at least one dose of the vaccine by December 31, 2021.

“Historically our communities have lagged behind on a variety of issues related to the social determinants of health due to a lack of access,” said Carlos Nelson, CEO of Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation. “The Protect Chicago 77 initiative removes the barrier of access and utilizes community members with deep roots in the community to help deliver vaccination education and vaccines to help save lives.”

Thanks to the generosity of funding provided by The Field Foundation of Illinois, Inc. in producing this article.

 (Published in the Chicago Crusader Newspaper October 9, 2021)

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