Last Thursday, when Chester COVID-19 cases were reported to be 8, I predicted we’d be at 20 by the end of the weekend. I missed that mark, but we’re at 28 a week later.

What happened?

Keep in mind, the number you see today are people who were tested last week. It takes that long to get results. Unlike a Radnor or who set up drive-by testing over a month ago, Chester folks are finally getting tested and the numbers are starting to show.

I watched Chester City Council earlier today and for a moment I allowed myself to follow the logic of city leaders who attribute Chester’s low confirmed cases to how well city residents are obeying the stay-at-home order and social distancing. I sat at this very PC and started to draft a post entitled ‘Is Chester the Outlier in Black Covid-19 Cases?’

Before I completed the piece, I peeked at the county map and saw Chester’s confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped from 14 to 28 overnight. Obviously, the ‘Outlier’ post became irrelevant even before I hit the publish button.

Obvious to me, the Chester City COVID-19 numbers have been lagging the overall county numbers for weeks. I believe from this point on we’re going to see the rate of cases in Chester following the county’s pace. Recent reports indicate Blacks are getting tested at a FAR fewer rate than whites and there’s no reason to believe that’s not occurring here. From now on, I expect Chester’s reported cases will trend as the county trends, if not faster. I believe the county curve will flatten before the Chester curve.

All the talk in the mainstream media these past 2 or 3 days is how Black folks are experiencing COVID-19 and dying from COVID-19 at much higher rates than whites. It has a lot to do with preexisting health conditions, lack of adequate health care and health insurance, poverty, pollution, and all the other factors we live with everyday around here.

It was only a matter of time before Chester received its ‘Oh Shit’ moment. I’d think 14 to 28 overnight would be that moment, but I have a feeling the alarm still isn’t sounding loud enough for far too many people around here.

After today, Chester is not the Outlier.