In A Flash

Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to hold public meeting Friday

By: - July 9, 2020 3:59 pm

A task force established by Gov. John Bel Edwards to help address the racial disparities apparent in Louisiana’s COVID-19 death toll will hold a meeting that the public can watch online at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force has submitted a report to Edwards that makes recommendations on how to improve COVID-19 testing for vulnerable communities, how to better monitor the disease’s impact on marginalized groups and how to better protect those who are incarcerated and in nursing homes. The report also recommends policy changes that would reduce inequities and suggests ways to help faith-based and community organizations more reliably provide public health information to the communities they serve.

In an April press release announcing the formation of the task force, Gov. Edwards said a health equity dashboard would be created “to monitor the progress of the task force.” According to the published agenda for Friday’s meeting, the health-equity dashboard subcommittee will be presenting a report. A subcommittee investigating racial disparities in healthcare will also present a report.

Members of the committee will use Zoom to connect with one another. The rest of the public can watch as the meeting is streamed live on YouTube.

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Jarvis DeBerry
Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.