MUSKEGON, Mich. — Governor Whitmer says the state's initiative to save lives in the African American community by appointing a special task force to limit cases and deaths, is working. Data shows in the springtime, there were significantly higher rates of deaths and cases within minority groups in the state, particularly African Americans.
Muskegon County was one of the areas disproportionately hit by COVID-19 in the beginning of the pandemic. At one point, cases within the African American community made up close to 53%. Thanks to measures from both MDHHS and the Muskegon County Health Department, that number is now down to 11.7%.
"This virus has exposed deep inequities in our state, and in our nation," said Governor Whitmer.
Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says that he has personally lost dozens of relatives to COVID-19.
"We observed these deadly trends, we did not wait. We took immediate action. Our state chose not to wait. Black Michiganders could not wait,” said Lt. Gov. Gilchrist.
Muskegon was one of the first communities to receive funding and help through the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. The initiative prompted single-day testing events, as well as a permanent testing site that did not require an appointment. The Michigan National Guard also aided in testing.
“I’m very proud and very appreciative of, you know, first the state support but especially our residents in Muskegon County who have taken advantage of opportunities available," said Kathy Moore, Director of Public Health. “The you know we've had just amazingly an overwhelming response from community residents family members. Thanking just bringing testing to Muskegon County and and thanking us for information related to mitigating and safety measures.”
If you would like to learn about more testing sites, you can visit here.