By the numbers: COVID-19 cases by race


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The latest data from the Shelby County Health Department, shows there are demographic disparities, as it relates to the coronavirus.

There is a push to inform those at greatest risk on what can be done to lower the chances of contracting COVID 19. The numbers are downright startling concerning COVID cases by race, with African Americans in our community falling victim more than others.

“As you know research shows they are most at risk,”  Dr. Kiasi Malone, the Promise Academy Principal, said.

Malone, is the principal at Promise Academy, Hollywood Campus. It is a charter school with just over 300 students.

“We had about 50 percent of our kids that were here and 50 percent that were not,” Malone said.

A split right down the middle. But what Dr. Malone is hoping will not be a split decision are those who get vaccinated.

Graphic provided by the SCHD

“We just want our kids to be healthy; we want our families to be healthy,” Malone said.

Which is why Promise Academy hosted this weekend a pop-up vaccination site with the help of Shot RX. Everything is by design here including why it was held here in the heart of North Memphis.

“Make it very accessible for them. They can either drive up or walk up to get vaccinated,” Malone said.

This community is majority African American, a demographic hard hit in Shelby County with COVID-19 cases.  According to the most recent data from the the health department, as of last week, African Americans account for 57 percent of positive cases compared to Whites making up 30 percent.     

Keep in mind there are more than 20,000 cases where the race was unknown or the information was missing.  Nevertheless, the stats are staggering, leading those like Dr. Malone to issue a plea on behalf of her students, she’s committed to protecting.

“We really want to get back to normal; our kids need some normal,” Malone said.

Health leaders say some of the reasons the virus can spread so quickly is because many are letting down their guards and are hesitate when it comes to getting the vaccine.

“It is very important for you to be vaccinated, so that everybody can be safe,” Malone said.

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