New Mapping Tool Gives 1st Glimpse into the Racial Make-Up of COVID Victims in Florida
-Gypsy C. Gallardo for Power Broker Media Group
St. Petersburg is one of the most racially segregated large cities in Florida, and because of that, the new Florida Department of Health zip code mapping tool, posted online last night, gives us a first narrow glimpse into the racial breakdown of COVID cases in the city, which could be a guide to communities across the Sunshine State that are similarly segregated. The new tool lets us see how many cases (approximately) are in each zip code in St. Petersburg.
The map (available here) shows approximately 37 COVID-positive people in South St. Petersburg and adjacent zip codes. Zip code 33701 (to the east of South St. Pete, downtown) is worst off. It has 16 COVID-positive people.
Zips 33712 and 33705 each have 5 to 9 cases. The Childs Park area, encompassed by zip code 33711, still showed zero cases, as of 5 pm on Saturday.
This means that South St. Pete proper (33712, 33705 and 33711) has roughly 14 of St. Petersburg’s 85 COVID cases (16%), which – in turn – may indicate that African Americans are less burdened by the virus than their white neighbors. South St. Petersburg is home to nearly 80% of St. Petersburg’s African American population and 37% of the city’s landmass.
African Americans are nevertheless more likely at risk for infection, once the virus is near. This is for a host of reasons. For one, African Americans have smaller homes and black families have twice as many children compared to white families in St. Petersburg. Both factors make it harder to distance from family members who may be infected, whether they know it or not.
I’ve begun to hear stories of local African Americans suffering the disease, but only two so far. A Southside minister posted a story on Friday that still feels too close to name by name.
As the days wear on, the voices of grief will grow louder (and for some, the virus will hit close to home).
COVID Cases in South St. Petersburg & Adjacent Zip Codes
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