Preliminary data from the Washington State’s Department of Health on confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths lacked information on race and ethnicity. In response, we requested the department to begin disaggregating data to show how different populations were impacted by the virus. The letter from Building Changes was sent to the Department of Health Secretary, John Wiesman, Governor Inslee’s office, and Director Robert Ezelle of the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division on April 8, 2020.
Data on race and ethnicity has illustrated the disproportionate impact of the homelessness crisis. Similarly, the effects this pandemic has on people of color should be recorded. With this newfound data, we hope that government agencies and organizations will create appropriate resources to address the needs of various communities impacted by this health crisis.