RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State and local leaders on Tuesday teamed up with the Richmond Fire Department to kick off a new health equity program.
Governor Ralph Northam, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Dr. Janice Underwood and Delegate Delores McQuinn were all in attendance at Armstrong High School to help distribute masks, hand sanitizer, and valuable information to underserved communities in the city.
Dr. Janice Underwood asked everyone who came out Tuesday to help make sure every person in the community received what they need.
“And as long as all those kits are gone, that’s success,” Dr. Underwood said. “We won’t skip one door. We will continue to pass them out until all of them are gone. Who are the most at risk? That’s who we want to come and provide service to.”
Mayor Stoney said the initiative’s goal was to distribute 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 20,000 masks to the public.
“We are gonna do everything we can with our partners at the state level to make sure that each and every resident gets what they need,” Mayor Stoney said.
Stoney also addressed which communities in Richmond are most at-risk.
“You look at now the number of fatalities in the city, 16 of 18 of those deaths are black and brown people,” Stoney said.
Gov. Northam emphasized that mass distributions can help the state inch closer to reopening.
“We need to remind everybody that until we get this health crisis under control, we’re not gonna have an economic recovery,” Gov. Northam said. “We had over 700 new cases today, we had unfortunately 41 – I’m gonna repeat that – 41 additional deaths. We have access to PPE. We know that that’s how we protect individuals.”
Virginia leaders hope the pilot program will grow to other parts of the city, eventually expanding throughout other areas in the state.
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