Racial disparities in Philadelphia testing for COVID-19

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

There's growing concern about the toll coronavirus is taking on minorities in America.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as of Friday, African Americans make up half the cases, and 81% of the deaths from COVID-19.

In Philadelphia, one scientist found striking racial disparities in testing.

Usama Bilal, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Drexel University analyzed the income levels and racial makeups of zip codes for those tested.

"The number of tests that have been conducted per thousand people was higher in neighborhoods with higher median household income and with a lower proportion of people who are African Americans and Hispanics," Dr. Bilal says.

Our data journalist put that into a graph, with brown dots showing zip codes that are more than half African-American.

Purple dots show zip codes with lower percentages of black residents.

The numbers are current through Sunday morning.