COLUMBUS, Ohio — “It's simply unacceptable, and should be unacceptable to every Ohioan, that in our great state of Ohio, in the year 2020, zip code, zip code still determines to a great extent how long you will live, how well you will live,’ said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. 

What You Need To Know

  • African Americans Account for more than a quarter of Ohio's COVID-19 cases

  • The disproportionate numbers are forcing Governor DeWine to take action

  • The governor is rolling out new resources to tackle racial inequality during this pandemic

Governor Mike DeWine is rolling out a slew of new resources that aim to tackle racial inequality during this pandemic. The first two are a set of maps. 

The first is a map allowing users to access county-level COVID-19 data by race and ethnic background,” DeWine said. 

The second map helps the state get a better idea of where they need to target resources through what is called an Ohio Opportunity Index. It tracks things like transportation, schools, access to grocery stores, unemployment, and helps paint a clearer picture of communities at risk. 

“Two thirds of our health outcomes are outside our control— housing, and certainly health policy, education is health policy," said DeWine.

According to state statistics, last year, 900 babies in Ohio didn’t live to see their first birthday.

Black babies die at a rate three times that of white babies.

African American mothers are 2.9 times more likely to die of a pregnancy-related complication than white mothers.

African American life expectancy is four years shorter than white Ohioans. 

“African American Ohioans also have a higher rate of heart disease, higher rate of hypertension, higher rate of diabetes.” said DeWine. 

All those factors lead to a disproportionate amount of African Americans contracting and dying from COVID-19.

Among the governor’s rollouts, he’s also creating a minority strike force whose sole purpose is to protect the health of African American communities, through testing, education, and outreach.  

“We have an obligation to act. We have an obligation to do something,” DeWine said.