South Shore to host virtual town hall to discuss African American community COVID-19 concerns

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first of three virtual town halls will take place Thursday for communities that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These virtual town halls are part of a comprehensive strategy to address the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on African American communities in Chicago.

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On Monday, Mayor Lightfoot said the city has targeted three neighborhoods that have been it the hardest: Auburn Gresham, Austin and South Shore.

The mayor said the Racial Equality Rapid Response team is partnering with three anchor community organizations: Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, Austin Coming Together, and South Shore Works to develop hyperlocal informational door hangers as well as distributing masks.

"We are all in this crisis together, but we haven't experienced it in the same way," said Mayor Lightfoot. "In response to the shockingly disproportionate impact this disease has had on our communities, RERRT is working aggressively and in close collaboration with local leaders and partners to mount a public health response that addresses the specific and contextualized needs of our residents and families. While we continue to focus on the immediate challenges related to COVID-19, this crisis has also doubled-down our longer mission to fight poverty, end racial inequality, and ensure every Chicagoan has access to a bright future we all deserve."

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Thursday's virtual town hall is hosted by South Shore Works and will air live on their Facebook page (@southshoreworks) from 4:30-6:00 p.m.

On Saturday April 25, Greater Auburn Gresham DC (@gagdcchicago) will host a town hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon and Austin Coming Together (@act.chicago) will host a town hall from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Those town halls will be also be livestreamed by community organizations.

Chicago health officials said as of Monday, 46 percent of COVID-19 cases in Chicago are black, with Latinx residents comprising 24 percent of cases, white patients 21 percent and Asian four percent. Officials said the population of Chicago is 33 percent black, 29 percent Hispanic, 33 percent white, seven percent Asian.

WATCH: Black community leaders have called for more health care at South and West side hospitals
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Some black community leaders have called for more health care at South and West side hospitals.



Officials said there have been 500 COVID-19 deaths in Chicago, 278 African American deaths, 83 Hispanic deaths, 82 white deaths, 23 Asian deaths and five of other ethnicity. In another 20 cases, the race of the patient remains under investigation.
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