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Lightfoot On Chicago COVID-19 Deaths: More Than Half Were African American

CHICAGO (CBS) -- More sobering statistics on how COVID-19 has touched Chicago and the populations that have been affected the most.

According to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, more than half of the people who died of COVID-19 have been African Americans. She added that there has been significant under reporting within the Latinx community.

Lightfoot noted that some of the city's more culturally, tight-knit communities may be experiencing higher incidents of COVID-19.

"What is turning out to be a positive attribute is turning into a risk factor," Lightfoot said. "We are all in this crisis together but we are not all experiencing this crisis in the same way."

Commissioner of the Chicago Public Health Department, Dr. Allison Arwady, added that the elderly continue to be at a higher risk to suffer from COVID-19.

"Among the 11,256 lab confirmed cases in Illinois, 4,680 have been in Chicago residents and out of the 274 deaths in Illinois, 98 have been Chicago residents," Arwady said.

She added that fewer than one in five Chicagoan is over the age of 60 and one in 12 Chicagoans, about 8% are over the age of 70.

"Seventy-one percent of Chicago's COVID-19 deaths have been in people over 60," Arwady said, who added that people with underlying conditions such as chronic lung disease, diabetes and hypertension continue to be most at-risk for COVID-19.

"Diabetes rates among blacks in Chicago are double the rates of what they are for whites in Chicago," Arwady said. "When it comes to our most vulnerable population, the need to do everything we can to help protect people in the older age groups of the most important folks to be keeping at home."

And when it comes to gender, men are more affected by COVID-19 primarily by their habits and underlying conditions.

"Men, as compared to women, have higher rates of deaths from chronic disease are less likely to seek medical health, are more likely to smoke and actually are less likely to wash their hands and to use soap," Arwady said. 


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This is a developing story. Check back with CBS 2 for more details on COVID-19 and its effect on Chicago.

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