Janet Mills investing $1 million to address racial disparities in Maine coronavirus infections

This story will be updated.

Gov. Janet Mills’ administration said Thursday it is investing $1 million from its coronavirus relief fund to address the racial and ethnic disparities that have left people of color disproportionately exposed to the pandemic in a predominantly white state.

The funds will go directly to organizations that are run by people in those hard-hit communities, and it will expand a number of education and prevention efforts while increasing the eligibility for some coronavirus-related services, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

The announcement comes as Black people in Maine have been infected with the virus disproportionately, at one of the highest rates in the country. Even though they make up just 1 percent of the state’s population, they have accounted for a quarter of Maine’s confirmed infections, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

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