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Racial Disparities Continue Among Boston's Reported COVID-19 Cases

Reported COVID-19 cases in Boston increased 46% since last week, according to a new report from the city's public health commission.

Black residents make up nearly 42% of the positive cases reported despite making up 25% of the population, according to census data.

A table breaks down the race/ethnicity distribution of COVID-19 cases in Boston residents. This data comes from the week ending on April 23, 2020. (Courtesy of Boston Public Health Commission)
A table breaks down the race/ethnicity distribution of COVID-19 cases in Boston residents. This data comes from the week ending on April 23, 2020. (Courtesy of Boston Public Health Commission)

Boston's Dorchester neighborhood has reported the most cases of the coronavirus with 1,911. That's more than double the next highest total of 688 reported cases in East Boston, home to one of Boston's largest immigrant communities. For comparison, nearby Charlestown reports the lowest number of positive COVID-19 cases in the city with 103.

Boston city councilor at-large Julia Mejia in a recent council hearing said the city's systems simply do not support every community equitably.

"COVID-19 didn't create these inequities, they already existed. All it did was expose and reaffirm what we already knew," she said.

A chart showing a comparison of reported COVID-19 cases by Boston neighborhood. Data used is from January 1, 2020 to April 23, 2020. (Courtesy of the Boston Public Health Commission)
A chart showing a comparison of reported COVID-19 cases by Boston neighborhood. Data used is from January 1, 2020 to April 23, 2020. (Courtesy of the Boston Public Health Commission)

As of Friday, there were 7,617 confirmed cases in the city and 259 deaths as a result of COVID-19.

This article was originally published on April 25, 2020.

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Shannon Dooling Twitter Reporter
Shannon Dooling is an immigration reporter at WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

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