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Why a greater proportion of COVID-19 cases in Milwaukee’s African-American community?

The African-American community comprises 27.2 percent of the population of Milwaukee County. Yet it also has about 45 percent of the current coronavirus cases in the county.

It reflects a national trend where African-American neighborhoods have seen the highest concentration of cases in many major metropolitan areas.

“When we think about the African-American community, there are already very high rates of hypertension, asthma, respiratory conditions and diabetes,” said Erikajoy Daniels, the senior vice president of diversity and inclusion of Advocate Aurora, on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.

“Those very conditions are the high risk factors for COVID-19. It’s almost this layering impact on the community that (affects) them in an an adverse way.”

Those medical conditions have numerous factors leading into them, particularly socioeconomic factors including access to health care and higher education. Workers in poorer areas who still are able to be employed often have to travel to their jobs, and fewer in the fields those workers are involved in are able to work from home. All that leads to increased exposure to the virus.


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