DC, Prince George’s County working to stop COVID-19 spread in African-American communities

The coronavirus has swept through the African-American community like a vicious storm.

In the District, 77 percent of the 81 victims of the disease are black.

In Prince George’s County, it’s nearly 75 percent.

And that raises a question – is enough being done to inform the community?

In Prince George’s County, there have been 99 deaths linked to the coronavirus so far.

RELATED: DC, Maryland and Virginia coronavirus case total surpasses 20,000

Seventy-three of those 99 people are African-American.

In addition to using social media and traditional media to spread the work of how dangerous the disease is, the county government has placed robocalls, delivered flyers with meals to the elderly, and sent text messages.

RELATED: New data suggests African Americans are contracting coronavirus more than any other race

In the District, Mayor Muriel Bowser says the Office of Healthcare Finance is using Medicare and Medicaid Insurance information to reach out to the most vulnerable people with underlying conditions.

FOX 5 asked the mayor if the effort should have been made sooner.

RELATED: Data suggests coronavirus disproportionately impacts black, Latino communities

"We are always focused on saving lives in the District and I think it would be unfortunate to characterize our efforts over the last several weeks as anything but trying to save people’s lives and we continue to do that,” Bowser said.

As the District Government releases more and more data, people are learning how the virus is impacting the community at large.

At this point, the data shows that at least four homeless people are victims of the disease, as well as nine residents of city nursing homes.

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Masks are required if you want to shop in a grocery store, take public transportation, ride in a  taxi, or work in an establishment that sells food.

The mayor has said several times that she believes the message on social distancing and the wearing of masks has gotten out to the community.

The District is also conducting tele calls with the community in English and Spanish – and residents are invited to call in and get their questions answered.

They are also using text messages, newsletters, and robo calls to get the information out.

The mayor also said today that a large portion of the African-American community is essential workers – delivering the mail, working in grocery stores, and driving buses. With the prevalence of underlying conditions, they are perhaps more vulnerable to the disease.