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Receiving current news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain geographic locations in the United States, specifically, Chicago, Louisiana, New York (specifically the Queens and Bronx) is disproportionately infecting Black people.  State representatives are requesting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) collect and share in real time data on virus racial disparities.  As Representative Ayanna Pressley stated, “that which gets measured gets done!”  Knowing the data is critical to addressing the health disparities and helping the Black Community, who is disproportionately from infection and death from the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus Pandemic is shining a very bright light on the glaring gaps, disparities, social inequities, and system inadequacies affecting the lives of people of color.  For the Black Community the following 3 factors have been identified as key contributing factors to the increased rates for which Blacks are being infected by COVID-19.

  1. Health conditions from Asthma, Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  2. Types of Jobs worked by Black people tend to be community service-related jobs, directly interfacing with the public.
  3. Mis-information – Black people tend to not trust the medical/healthcare AND political systems, viewing information received from and through these systems as suspect.

To help our Black Community the following MUST happen.

  • Continually Get the Word Out and connect people to resources and services.
  • Get rapid testing to Black Communities and provide needed care and support.
  • Provide accurate messages and information to the Black Community.

We need to determine targeted innovative and creative ways to reach the Black Community.  We need our Community leaders and influencers helping in this fight for Black lives – the lives of People of Colors!  To help turn the tide of COVID-19 in the Black Community we need the data on why and how people are dying so we can figure it out – what and why it is happening and why Black people are dying more.

Continuing the mission of passing on information of resources and services during this Coronavirus Pandemic.  Click on this Tri-County Health Department Link which provides Coronavirus case updates for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties.

The following information links were obtained from Mental Health Center of Denver Resources for You.

  • Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) – COVID-19 in Colorado
  • Colorado State Government Official Webpage – COVID-19 in Colorado
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – COVID-19
  • Pharmacies at the Recovery Center and Wellshire Behavioral Services are filling prescriptions and delivering medications to those we serve. We ask that you stay home to be safe and avoid going to our pharmacies. Visit our Pharmacy webpagefor more information.
  • Denver Health and Mental Health Center of Denver primary care offices at the Recovery Center are open to scheduled appointments. Please call 303-504-7796.
  • The walk-in center at 4353 E. Colfax Avenue is open. Please call Colorado Crisis Services if experiencing a crisis at 1-844-493-8255 or visit the Colorado Crisis Services websitefor more information.

The following are Frequently Asked Questions and Responses captured by The New York Times.

Should I wear a mask?

The Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

What should I do if I feel sick?

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

How do I get tested?

If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

How does coronavirus spread?

It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

Is there a vaccine yet?

No. The first testing in humans of an experimental vaccine began in mid-March. Such rapid development of a potential vaccine is unprecedented, but even if it is proved safe and effective, it probably will not be available for 12 to18 months.

What makes this outbreak so different?

Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

What if somebody in my family gets sick?

If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

Should I stock up on groceries?

Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

 

Shelter in Place for you, your family and others to stop the spread and to save lives! 

Be safe, healthy and well!

© 2015 Colorado Black Health Collaborative
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