Coronavirus impacting South Florida’s minority communities

Broward and Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner death cases have similiarities

Lavon Gates wants everyone to know that her son lived to make people happy. Brandon Robinson of Lauderhill was just 34 years old when he died of COVID-19 last week. Two of his siblings contracted the virus, too, but now they are both stable.

"I want people to know that this is serious," said Robinson's mother.

Robinson, the youngest fatality in Broward County, is one of a growing number of minorities to not only contract the virus, but also die from it.

According to the latest numbers from the Broward County medical examiner, a little more than half of those who have died from COVID-19 have been people of color, with nearly a third of those deaths involving African Americans.

The latest numbers from the Miami-Dade County medical examiner showed a similar breakdown.

Tangela Sears, a community activist in South Florida, is concerned some people may not be heeding all the warnings.

“I don’t see some people taking it as serious as it is,” said Sears. “My concerns are the activities that I continue to see going on in my community. Family gatherings, parties. Car washes.”

The United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Friday that the problem may be compounded by current socio-economic issues and an overall lack of health care.

“People of color are more likely to live in densely packed areas and multi-generational housing situations, which may create more risk for spread of a highly contagious disease, like COVID-19,” said Adams.

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