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Equity And The Pandemic Response – COVID-19 Update For June 4, 2021

Kerry Klein
The African American Coalition, which runs a vaccine clinic in downtown Fresno, is one arm of Fresno County's COVID-19 Equity Project.

Last August, the state of California introduced a “health equity metric” in its method of evaluating progress in fighting COVID-19. Ostensibly, that meant the state would be grading counties not just on their countywide case rates, positivity rates, testing and (later) vaccine numbers, but also on all of those measures within their most disadvantaged census tracts.

This week’s COVID update features two segments: In the first, we present a feature that explores the impacts of the Fresno County COVID-19 Equity Project, a joint effort between more than a dozen organizations as well as UCSF Fresno, Fresno State, the city and the county. At the core of their work on equity is building community trust, and their methodology is now being adopted in other parts of the state.

The discussion that follows explores the idea of equity and what that means in the context of our local pandemic response, featuring excerpts of conversations with Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra, and Dr. Venise Curry, a physician and consultant with the Equity Project’s African American Coalition.

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of June 3:

As of 1 week previous, May 27:

As of 4 weeks previous, May 6:

You can always find up-to-date information for your countyhere.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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