VIRUS OUTBREAK-RACIAL DISPARITIES

Community leaders: Maine must fix COVID racial disparity

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s Black community accounts for more than a fifth of the state’s coronavirus cases despite making up less than 2% of the population, and community leaders say the state must do more to address that racial disparity. Maine, which has the highest percentage of white residents of any state, has a fairly low total coronavirus caseload of 3,070. But state data show that of 2,710 coronavirus victims who have disclosed their race, more than 27% are Black. Maine Black leaders said Thursday that systemic racism is the reason for the disparity, and Gov. Janet Mills must address it.