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Area high school students to host panel on virus' impact on minority communities

Area doctors and the state diversity chief will discuss how COVID-19 is disportionately affecting communities of color in a panel Saturday.

The panel, to be held over Zoom, was put together by a group of Albemarle County high school students who are working to implement the school division’s anti-racism policy.

As of Wednesday, 390 people in the Thomas Jefferson Health District have tested positive for COVID-19. African Americans account for 27% of the cases and about half of the 67 hospitalizations, according to the health district.

Dr. Cameron Webb, a director of health policy and equity at the University of Virginia, and Lawrence Pilkey, who works in Sentara Martha Jefferson’s Intensive Care Unit, will serve on the panel along with Janice Underwood, Virginia’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Webb also is running for the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat; if he wins, he will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, R-Va.

To register for the town hall, go to The same link can be used prior to the town hall to submit questions or issues for the panelists and students to discuss as part of Saturday afternoon’s conversation.

To watch the town hall, go to The password is 005573.

The students said they want to educate their peers and families about how to view the novel coronavirus through an anti-racist lens and about the actions they can take to reduce the impact on themselves and the community at large.


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