‘A Dark Cloud’: Evanston Leaders Concerned with Disproportionate Rates of Coronavirus Among Black and Latino Residents

For weeks, preliminary data showed black Americans in Illinois, among other states, were disproportionately contracting and dying from COVID-19. Not only has that trend continued in cities like Evanston, but Illinois Department of Public Health statistics show a steady increase in cases among Latino city residents as well.

Black residents comprise 24.6 percent of confirmed cases, yet make up 16.6 percent of the city’s population, according to Census data. Latino residents make up 18.3 percent of positive cases but represent 11.8 percent of the population. However, white residents make up just 28.5 percent of cases, despite encompassing 59.4 percent of Evanston’s population. (Another 15.98 percent of cases were “left blank” and considered their own category by the IDPH.)

The state passed more than 102,000 confirmed cases and Evanston reached nearly 615 cases as of Thursday afternoon. Many community leaders are concerned about COVID-19’s impact on black and Latino residents — and about the city’s response.

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