COLUMBUS, Ohio--The Franklin County Board of Health has declared racism a public health crisis, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In the declaration, health officials say racism and segregation have exacerbated a health divide resulting in black Ohioans having lower life expectancies than white Ohioans, being far more likely than other races to die prematurely, and to die of heart disease or stroke, according to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio.
The COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in a higher percentage of black becoming infected than whites, according to health officials.
Officials also cite infant mortality rates, and diabetes and obesity rates which are higher among blacks than whites.
The board is committing to advocating for policies to improve health in communities of color, and support efforts to dismantle systemic racism.