Coronavirus and Our Communities
March 19, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak is now officially a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States alone, more than 1,300 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed. Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country's systems, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black, Brown, Asian, and indigenous communities, as well as other population groups.
The NAACP has released a resource to guide officials responsible for addressing health, economic, and other impacts, in remediating some of the issues that are disproportionately affecting communities of color.
Our policy experts have outlined key considerations and recommendations in containing the spread of the coronavirus. The full guide is available to download here.
10 Impacts of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak on Communities of Color
Racism and stigmatization have increased, particularly towards the Asian and Asian American population.
Immigrants, people over 60 years old, incarcerated people, people with disabilities, people with special health needs, and others are at an added risk of exposure and other impacts.
Frontline workers face tough choices between abstaining from work or risking exposure.
Census and voting may be impacted as public outings continue to dwindle.
Coronavirus remediation will result in increased exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals.
School students risk exposure due to confined spaces, or good and housing insecurity if schools close.
There is a lack of accessibility to testing kits.
Quarantine policies and practices are unfolding with a risk to human and civil rights
The coronavirus has already been used to justify increased militarization and more restrictive immigration policies and practices.
Denial and misinformation on the crisis can worsen the outbreak.
10 Policy Recommendations to Temper the Impact of the Coronavirus on Communities of Color
Change the narrative surrounding the crisis, "The virus is the enemy, not the person who is infected."
Adopt policies which increase access to childcare, healthcare and humane, sanitary living conditions to at-risk communities.
Advocate for the establishment of a paid leave system for all workers.
Extend the data collection period for the Census, extend voting hours, and minimize large gatherings.
Significantly increase the stringency of the Toxic Substances Control Act
Advocate for provision of food assistance to families enrolled in the free meal program via mobile delivery, food vouchers, and by which students can register for housing assistance through Stafford Act provisions.
Prioritize vulnerable groups/populations for testing as soon as kits become available.
Establish and enforce a Quarantine Bill of Rights
Establish sanctuary sites, repeal the travel ban and repeal of the restrictions on the provision of healthcare to immigrants.
Advance litigation for the willful misleading of the public for political gain while jeopardizing the wellbeing of the nation.
To read the full document, "Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States visit http://www.naacp.org