Mayo Clinic: Breaking down COVID-19 and racial disparities

Updated: September 22, 2020 10:53 PM
Created: September 22, 2020 10:22 PM

(ABC 6 News) - COVID-19 will come after anyone, regardless of age or race. 

But data shows it is infecting people of color at a much higher rate, specifically among black, Latino and indigenous communities. 

Mayo Clinic addressed the racial disparities on Tuesday, Dr. Mark Wieland who has been researching the disparities, says social and economic status plays a big role. 

Dr. Wieland says it's crucial that physicians reach out to diverse communities more effectively during this pandemic. 

"So, our partnership is called Rochester Healthy Community Partnership or RHCP, we have 15 years of participatory research experience with mostly immigrant and refugee groups in southeast Minnesota. In early March RHCP community partners observed that credible covid information was out there, it was being produced in many languages but it wasn't reaching immigrant communities for a variety of complex factors. So, partners thought about how we could leverage RHCP's community based infrastructure to fill these gaps," says Dr. Mark Wieland, Internal Medicine Physician, Mayo Clinic .

Since March, Dr. Wieland says his team has brought on more than 2 dozen people, who are trusted in immigrant and refugee communities.

They've helped serve as liasions between medical staff and the community.


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