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CNY Leaders of Color use Jazz to Keep COVID-19 Out of the Home

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Chris Bolt/WAER News
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Central New York broadcaster George Kilpatrick lost his mother to the coronavirus in April. She was 76. Kilpatrick says even though she was taking every precaution, it wasn’t enough.

“We were preparing for me to come home. We know that she didn’t go many places. She was pretty much home,” Fitzpatrick said. She had some conditions as well, and yet, someone who visited, who wasn’t masked, brought it into the house.”

Charles Jackson is the Coordinator of the Youth Substance Prevention Coalition. His mother died at the same age… from the same virus. Jackson suspects her caregivers inadvertently spread coronavirus into her room.

“Community spread is real. In most long-term care facilities, a lot of the staff members are under 30 [year of age],” Jackson said. “For those young people who believe they’re not going to catch it, think about your loved ones and your family members who have underlying health conditions that they don’t even know about. Do you really want to be that person that brings it to your home?”

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Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Charles Jackson, the Coordinator of the Youth Substance Prevention Coalition (left) and George Kilpatrick, a CNY broadcaster (right) are calling for young people to be more cautious, and protect the at-risk population from the coronavirus.

Jackson and Kilpatrick are endorsing the COVID: Don’t Bring it Home campaign. 100 Black Men of Syracuse, the City Community Health Center and CNY Jazz are promoting the message through Jazz in the City events. COVID-19 tests will be available at the free concerts open to the public. State assembly member Pamela Hunter says it is especially important in urban areas with high concentrations of minorities.

“Disproportionately, COVID has affected people of color, so we need to make sure that we put resources where they need to be, do things a little creatively,” Hunter said. “Also bringing PPE (personal protective equipment), sanitizer, masks, things that they need along the way while we’re encouraging everyone to get tested.

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Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
The BlackLites Lite is headlining the first of four shows in the COVID: Don't Bring it Home campaign on Thursday, August 27th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

According to Onondaga County, more than 27% of the positive tests come from black people. That demographic only accounts for 12% of the total population.

The four-concert series at 819 South Salina Street in Syracuse begins on August 27th and runs through September 17th. every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for more information. 

August 27th with The BlackLites Lite

September 3rd with Ronnie Leigh

September 10th with Mike Houston and Sam Wynn

September 17th with The BlackLites Lite