NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – While the coronavirus pandemic has impacted every corner of the city, it has hit some communities much harder than others.
New data from the Department of Health shows a deepening divide as black and Latino communities are dying at twice the rate of their white counterparts, reports CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.
CBS2 met with pastor Jay Gooding just hours before he officiated yet another funeral service.
“I’ve done about 48 services since the shutdown,” he said.
Pastor Gooding is the clergy liaison for the 49th Police Precinct.
He also leads two churches, including Fellowship Tabernacle Church located in the 10469 ZIP code in the northeast Bronx.
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According to new Health Department data, it’s one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the city that accounts for the fourth-highest rate of deaths, trailing behind Canarsie in Brooklyn with 612 per 100,000 residents and Far Rockaway with 445 deaths per 100,000.
The death rate is 434 in the Flushing-Clearview area of Queens, and 429 in the northeast Bronx. In Brooklyn, it’s 416 in the Coney Island-Sheepshead Bay area.
Among the lives lost include Gooding’s associate pastor, Reverend Sydney Hargrave.
“I actually cried for like two to three days,” said Gooding. “I put a memorial up on my Facebook page because he was like my right-hand person. He was one that was involved in the community. It hurts.”
This outbreak has become a misery map, highlighting widespread and long-standing disparities in black and Latino communities by ZIP code.
The most impacted areas include New York City Housing Authority residences.
With more than 1,200 cases, residents account for a disproportionate amount of COVID deaths.
“We’re always trying to understand what we need to do to serve people and help people,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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It wasn’t until after the peak of the virus that city and state leaders turned their focus to the most vulnerable communities by providing more testings, distributing masks and other resources.
The numbers cannot begin to tell the story of the utter heartbreak of more than 20,000 lives lost.
“As a pastor, it’s really traumatizing to me to see families having to go through this,” said Gooding.
Each week Gooding is tasked with finding the words to console himself and so many others.