Fischer shares racial data on county’s coronavirus patients

Mayor confirms largest one-day increase in new cases

Fischer shares racial data on county’s coronavirus patients

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced 76 new cases of the coronavirus in Jefferson County, and four more deaths.

During his daily video briefing Wednesday, Fischer confirmed the new cases represent the county’s largest single-day increase. Jefferson County now has a total of 478 cases. Thirty-one people have died from the virus that has caused a global panic this year.

The newest victims were a 63-year-old male and three others all age 90 or older, Fischer said.

As many cities have started reporting the racial makeup of their patients this week, Fischer offered some new data. He said racial data is not required on patient forms at hospitals, so the data he shared Wednesday applied to about 77 percent of all of the cases:

+ 64 percent of the patients are white, 27 percent are black, 9 percent are Asian and 0 percent are multi-racial

+ 75 percent of those who have died from the coronavirus were white, 20 percent were black and 4 percent were Asian

For context, the city’s population is 67-68 percent white, 22 percent black and 10 percent foreign-born, Fischer said.

The mayor has said all along that as testing expands, so, too, will the rate of reported infections. So while that is happening, Fischer said, the rate of increase is not alarming.

“What we’re really looking out for is exponential growth ... rapid, rapid increases like multiple days in a row where your case count is doubling,” he said. “We’re not seeing that. We’re thankful for that.”

Fischer again mentioned this week’s Easter services and Wednesday’s start of Passover as reasons most families would want to gather to celebrate, but asked residents to resist those temptations.

“It’s the Super Bowl of religious weeks,” he said. “But we’ve got to stay focused as we get through this. As we stay apart, the disease cannot transmit from one individual to another. Keep practicing social distancing ... six feet apart.”

Metro Council President David James said he knows this is all still early in the process, but he's pleased the numbers weren't as bad as other cities.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that the measures that Governor Beshear and Mayor Fischer have put into place in order to try to protect us is working and that we are flattening the curve and that it's also helping with our numbers of despaired impact," James told WAVE 3 News.

He is still concerned about the African American community in the city, mainly west Louisville, because of how certain zip codes have despaired health impacts from things like poverty and redlining.

"It's a great fear of mine in particular that as we go through the COVID-19 virus that those impacts will also effect west Louisville in a very negative way," James said.

He is waiting to see a heat map to see what zip codes are hit the hardest by the virus.

Daily COVID-19 briefing by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Get the latest news on the COVID-19 outbreak on your mobile device with the WAVE 3 News app >> http://bit.ly/2l0E64i

Posted by WAVE 3 News on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

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