As of Thursday afternoon, 1,003 people in Minneapolis had tested positive for COVID-19, according to data given to the city by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Of them, 31% identified as black, and 28% identified as white. In 29% of the cases, the person’s race was listed as “unknown.”
Minneapolis Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant told City Council members on Friday morning the city will likely receive more information about those “unknown” cases after the patients complete interviews with health officials.
While it’s difficult to draw definitive conclusions about disparities, several council members said they want to keep close track of those numbers.
If black people are shown to account for nearly a third of the city’s cases, that would be “a disproportionate representation in comparison to the rest of the city,” Council Member Phillipe Cunningham noted.
The most recent available census data shows that about 19% of Minneapolis residents identified as black.
The city has asked the state to provide more detailed information that would show how many of the black patients identify as African-American vs. East African.
“I think that will be helpful as we continue to tailor our community-specific responses,” Musicant said.