The CDC Foundation has entered a cooperative agreement with Jackson State University, providing $420,000 to develop a marketing campaign this fall to reduce and prevent the disproportionate COVID-19 transmissions among African Americans ages 18-29 in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties. These three counties have experienced the highest rate of transmissions in Mississippi.
JSU will host its first COVID-19 Mitigation Town Hall meeting held on Thursday, January 21st from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at FACEBOOK.COM/JSUTV.
Hinds County, where Blacks comprise 73 percent of the population, had the most infections in the Magnolia state at 5,100 over the summer. And, even though the number of Blacks are far fewer in Madison and Rankin counties, their COVID-19 cases were disturbingly higher at 28.8 percent and 52.4 percent, respectively, than that of whites.
To date, 1,443 Blacks have died in Mississippi compared to 1,497 whites, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. To put those numbers in greater perspective, the Black population in Mississippi is 37.8 percent versus 59.1 percent for whites. So, JSU experts say the infection and death rates are alarming, particularly among Blacks.
JSU, with support from the CDC Foundation, is implementing this wide-reaching campaign to counter these health disparities and raise awareness and change behaviors to combat COVID-19.