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Mass testing, wearing a mask helps Detroit slow down the virus

Detroit – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on March 11th last year that the St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled because a virus that has already affected tens of thousands of people around the world has reached Michigan. did.

“Everyone standing side by side for hours, it was a recipe for spreading the problem,” Dagan told reporters at the time. He said the city’s inhabitants would be infected “in a few days.”

He was right. COVID-19 struck Detroit violently. However, the swift action of the early pandemic city leaders may have slowed the rampant advance of the virus among Detroit’s predominantly black population.

According to the city’s Department of Health, Detroit recorded 431 confirmed COVID cases on March 30, 2020, and another 387 two days later. Forty-nine deaths were confirmed on April 1, 51 on April 9, and 52 on April 16.

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Renuka Tipirneni, an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan, said: “People live in more crowded homes and need public transport to get important jobs.”

However, Detroit fought to get residents to be tested for the virus early and launched a “very targeted and powerful messaging campaign,” said Dr. Johnny Cardun, Michigan’s Chief Health Officer. ..

Dagan appeared on Facebook, YouTube and television, masking residents to reduce social distance and encourage them to stay home.

As one of the first cities in the United States, he deployed the Abbott Laboratories test, which yields results in minutes, avoiding quarantine if police and firefighters test negative for potentially exposed tests. I made it possible.

Detroit has also launched a free mass drive-through test at a former state trade fair. Virus testing was also done at homeless shelters.

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“The actions of the city of Detroit have saved lives,” Khaldun told The Associated Press. “People who needed the test took the test. People had the right information about viruses and how to protect themselves from viruses. Here, the number of viruses decreases.”

But Detroit hasn’t escaped the tragedy. More than 30,000 cases have been confirmed in the city, and nearly 1,900 residents have died.

In late August, Bell Island, a state park on the Detroit River, turned into a memorial to a sad family who slowly passed through hundreds of photos of their loved ones who succumbed to the virus.

Colored races across the country were disproportionately infected with the virus and killed, and most of the faces in the pictures of Bell Island were black. Nearly eight out of ten of Detroit’s 670,000 residents are African-American.

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Elderly people and the poor are also susceptible. About 20% of Detroit are over 60 years old. Detroit has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

By the second week of April, Duggan said the “center of the fight” was in a Detroit nursing home after 11 deaths and 141 confirmed infections. The city has begun daily rapid inspections of nursing home residents and staff.

This was a “good strategy,” said 60-year-old Sherry Evans, whose 81-year-old mother, Ilene Hegler, suffered from dementia and later lived in a nursing home outside Detroit.

“Nursing homes contacted me around April 18-19 that she had a fever,” said Evans of Dearborn Heights. “They called me and said she was positive on the test. They also called me and said they couldn’t beat the fever.”

Her mother died on April 21st.

“They were more sensitive in Detroit, where the virus is killing older people and blacks,” Evans said.

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The city reported about 149 new COVID-19 cases and about 20 deaths on April 23. Approximately 39 new cases were identified on July 1, and health officials began to reduce daily deaths. However, cases began to increase in late autumn. On November 30, after Thanksgiving holidays, about 329 new cases were identified. After that, the number decreased.

“I think (Dagan’s) leadership, along with the leadership of the Black Church, both played a big role,” says Kenneth Flower, who lives outside Detroit but has the Greater New Mount Moria Missionary Baptist Church in the heart of the city. Said the pastor. ..

The city has worked with churches and other organizations to emphasize the importance of masking, Flowers said. Flowers recovered from the virus with his wife, two daughters, a sister, and a 90-year-old mother.

“We did the test in the church,” Flowers said. “It makes me sad and angry when I see many people in a particular area not wearing masks and taking them seriously.”

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When the city began vaccination in December, it opened a downtown convention center garage for drive-through vaccination for people over the age of 75, before lowering the age limit.

David M. Rubenstein, Fellow of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, Washington, co-authored a report on COVID-19 in Detroit, said the city “meeting people where they are.” We recognize its importance. ” “Drive-through is exactly what is happening.”

Associated Press analysis of vaccination data from 17 states and two cities, which released a racial breakdown by January 25, shows that fewer blacks are vaccinated than other populations.

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Dagan said he had received a promise from President Joe Biden’s White House to vaccinate Moderna and Pfizer 15,000 times a week. The city has carried out more than 100,000 vaccinations.

Dagan also said the city would make the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available.

For those who report a race, about 82% of those who have received at least one shot are black.

Robert Hagley, a 74-year-old black man living in Detroit, was vaccinated at the TCF Center last month.

“I think they are doing their best,” he said of the city’s efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible as soon as possible. “I need more vaccines. Without vaccines, there’s not much you can do.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Mass testing, wearing a mask helps Detroit slow down the virus

Source link Mass testing, wearing a mask helps Detroit slow down the virus

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