Today’s headlines focus on the twin public health crises that have upended 2020 in the United States; systemic racism and the coronavirus. While a New England city declares racism a “health emergency,” counties across the South and Southwest face intensifying Covid-19 outbreaks. These headlines are taken from the front pages curated by Newseum.org.
Postcard of Memorial Square and Church, Springfield, Mass., available in the Public Domain, courtesy of New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Springfield mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced that after discussions with the city’s commissioner of Health and Human Services, Helen R. Caulton-Harris, he was declaring racism as a public health crisis in the city. To address the issues, the city has created the Springfield Office on Racial Equity, an office designed to listen to community concerns and propose city policies that create systemic change to promote public health, workforce development, and opportunities for all.
COVID-19 Outbreak Cases in the United States by user Pharexia, used under CC BY-SA, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Between June 9th and 15th, Florida recorded 13,624 new coronavirus cases, the highest one week total since the state began keeping track. Despite the surge, local and national health leaders are saying that it is not the long-predicted second-wave, but the result of increased testing.
Despite steep declines in new cases, deaths, and hospitalizations at the end of May, Louisiana’s rate of Covid-19 infection has rebounded since the state started to reopen in recent weeks. While state health officials attribute the increasing numbers to increased testing, they also warn of localized surges in regions like Alexandria, Lake Charles, and Monroe.
Localized spikes in Alabama’s Covid-19 cases led to ‘all-time highs’ in hospitalizations in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Decatur in recent days. The state's department of public health also reported record numbers of new cases, with more than 1,000 added on Sunday. Andy North, spokesman for the DCH Regional Medical Center, described the state’s status as “manageable but fragile.”
Arizona’s Mohave County Department of Public Health is reporting a fourth consecutive week of increases in Covid-19 cases, with a new high of new cases reported for the week ending June 15th. The county attributes the rising numbers to both increased testing and the spread of the virus.
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