Maryland’s Prince George’s County is among nation’s wealthiest Black communities, but it leads state in coronavirus cases

By Jean Marbella and Naomi Harris, The Baltimore Sun

For a decade, Stephen B. Thomas has studied racial inequality from a research center at the University of Maryland. It happens to be located in one of the wealthiest Black enclaves in the nation, Prince George’s County.

The location wasn’t necessarily relevant to his work — until now. Thomas and his team at the university’s Center for Health Equity are in the midst of a real-time case study asking a disconcerting question:

Why has affluent Prince George’s been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other place in Maryland?

“You would expect Prince George’s to be the healthiest county in the country,” Thomas said. “It’s not even the healthiest county in Maryland.”

The virus has cut a swath through the sprawling county of 900,000. Cases surged this spring, overwhelming hospitals and prompting some to erect tents outside their buildings to house extra beds.

Churches, funeral homes and community organizations scrambled to provide food and comfort as the losses mounted — of loved ones to the virus and jobs and income to the shutdown. Read more …