Coalition strives to get vital resources to minority communities in Allegheny County during pandemic

Coalition strives to get vital resources to minority communities in Allegheny County during pandemic

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A first-of-its-kind coalition is striving to get Allegheny County’s minority communities the resources and information they need to save lives during the pandemic.

The Black Equity Coalition is made up of, among others, doctors, public health researchers and elected officials.

The group, which started with no funding, is now in direct contact with the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County health directors.

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“In the beginning, we were scraping data from the Allegheny County Health Department. Since then, we’ve developed partnerships with different data entities. We now have our own website where we daily track the epidemic by race,” said Dr. Tracey Conti.

Thanks to the coalition, thousands of COVID-19 tests have been distributed to Black and brown communities in the Pittsburgh area.

“We are currently pursuing a wastewater sentinel surveillance model to help us look at the predictability of where COVID cases might spread as a result of testing in water,” coalition member Fred Brown told Channel 11.

The group is also working to develop a statewide research lab that addresses health issues people of color are facing during the pandemic.

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