AFRICAN AMERICAN COALITION OF INDIANAPOLIS – AACI
Indianapolis, IN, May 4, 2020 – Statement Urging the Community to Comply with Mayor Hogsett’s Stay at Home Order
On Thursday, April 30th, Mayor Joe Hogsett and Dr. Virginia Caine of the Marion County Health Department extended the stay-at-home order issued for the city of Indianapolis until May 15th. Mayor Hogsett shared that Marion County represented approximately one third of both COVID-19 positive cases and deaths for the state. Marion County is currently the epicenter of Indiana’s coronavirus outbreak. The number of cases in Indianapolis have not peaked.
According to the Marion County Health Department, “African-American residents have been three times more likely than white residents to get diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, two and a half times more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus, and twice as likely to die from it.” We know that many in our community are vulnerable due to their health status and existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma, obesity, etc. We also know that 12% of Black residents do not have access to quality and affordable health care, a problem we remain committed to addressing.
Both the Mayor and the Governor of Indiana have orders in place against large gatherings of people. Unfortunately, among the large gatherings that have occurred all over the city, we learned on Sunday a 16-year old died from a stray bullet that might be linked to one of them. AACI has condemned such senseless acts of violence on countless occasions and reaffirm our position today. These acts of violence are unacceptable especially when African Americans make up a disproportionate number of the over 45 criminal homicides in 2020, as well as those killed during a record-setting year for homicides in 2018, and previous years.
The Central Indiana African American community is simultaneously combating a public health crisis, COVID-19, and a continuing public safety crisis, with African Americans continuing to be murdered at a disturbing rate. It is very painful for our community to consider that full compliance of Mayor Hogsett’s stay-at-home order might have prevented another loss of life of one of our children.
To minimize the spread of the virus and to prevent deaths, we are strongly encouraging members of our community to comply with Mayor Hogsett’s stay-at-home order by refraining from participating in large gatherings and continuing social distancing practices, wearing masks and washing hands regularly. We also encourage our community to take advantage of available COVID-19 testing if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. If you feel that you have been exposed and have symptoms complete and submit the Marion County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 Community Testing Form or call 317-221-5515.
We must do everything we can to help ourselves until a vaccine is available and effective treatment is in place.
About the African American Coalition
The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is a non-partisan collaboration of African-American civic, social, professional, service and community organizations with a goal to educate and engage African Americans in the local, state and national political process.