African Americans Account for Half of Youngstown Virus Deaths

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Half of the 26 people who have died from the coronavirus in Youngstown were African Americans, reports the Mahoning County Public Health Department. Black people account for 42% of the city’s population of 64,955.

Mahoning County reports 1,310 positive cases of COVID-19, the disease spread by coronavirus. The cases have resulted in 287 hospitalizations and 162 deaths as of May 21.

With Youngstown excluded, 93% of the 136 deaths in Mahoning County are among white residents and 6% of those who died are African American. One percent are listed as other.

In Youngstown, 268 positive cases were reported. Of those cases, 33% were white residents and 36% were black residents. Twenty-six percent of positive cases were identified as unknown race.

Mahoning County has a population of 231,857, of which 80% are white and 15.2% are black.

According to Ryan Tekac, Mahoning County health commissioner, the county’s white population accounts for 66% of positive tests, while 11% of the county’s black population are positive for COVID-19. There are 4% of the cases listed as other.

Gov. Mike DeWine reported Thursday that African Americans make up 14% of Ohio’s population, but represent 26% of positive COVID-19 cases, 31% of hospitalizations and 17% of deaths.

DeWine released the figures as part of a preliminary report from the Minority Health Strike Force he assembled. The strike force is expected to release a final report June 11.

Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown serves on the team, which is led by Youngstown native Ursel McElroy, director of Ohio Department of Aging, and Alisha Nelson, director of RecoveryOhio.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.