California to collect data to investigate how Covid-19 is spreading in the LGBT+ community.

Governor Newsom called today’s announcement a move in the right direction.

According to CBS Sacramento, California will be the first State in USA to track Covid-19 cases also on the basis of sexual orientation to understand how to help the LGBT+ community which – according to advocates – has been devastated by this pandemic.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) worked with LGBT+ civil rights organisation Equality California to advocate for the collection of this data and introduced the Senate Bill 932 in May to require it. The bill passed the Senate on June 25 and is set to be heard in the Assembly Committee on Health in August.

SB 392 would not only require the state to collect sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data for coronavirus, but also for all major communicable diseases.

Equality California executive director Rick Chavez Zbur welcomed news that the bill was passed by the state senate, and added:

Rick C. Zbur

“The COVID-19 crisis has devastated the LGBT+ community. But for months, we haven’t had the data to understand how, why or exactly what to do about it. From the beginning of this crisis, we have been clear: If LGBT+ people are left out of COVID-19 data, we will be left out of California’s data-driven response. Thanks to governor Newsom’s leadership and his administration’s hard work, we will start to have answers. This data will finally give our government, our public health leaders and our community an understanding of the degree to which this pandemic is devastating LGBT+ people — and what steps need to be taken to save lives.”

With the actual situation of Covid-19 in USA, the “no-mask” protest, the political fervour across the country ahead of the upcoming elections, and racial inequalities that have been exacerbated during this pandemic, California sets the start-line for a groundbreaking change of direction.

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