All African Americans, Latinos and tribal community members in Wisconsin will have access to free COVID-19 testing under a plan announced Thursday by Gov. Tony Evers.
Evers’ plan is an effort to combat the staggering racial and ethnic disparities Wisconsin and many other states are facing when it comes to COVID-19 cases and deaths.
African Americans and Latinos account for about half of all coronavirus cases in Wisconsin. Latinos make up less than 7% of the state’s population, but account for 29% of the COVID-19 cases. African Americans make up only about 6% of Wisconsin’s total population but account for 21% of the confirmed cases statewide.
About 30% of Wisconsinites who’ve died after contracting COVID-19 are African American.
“These disparities existed before this pandemic. But what we can do in this present circumstance is we have to, have to, have to test more people,” Evers said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. “In order for us to do the best job possible serving the disadvantaged groups in this state who are disproportionately impacted by this virus, we have to test more.”