Year one: COVID-19’s death toll in San Diego County exposes economic and class divide

Voice of San Diego examined each COVID-related death in San Diego County during the first year of the pandemic, uncovering new insights about each person’s education, occupation and race – information never before released by the county. The Voice, with a grant from the Fund, had to sue to get access to the records. A team of journalists then spent six months in the county archives painstakingly reviewing each death certificate to create a comprehensive database. The success of the Voice’s legal battle with the county means other members of the press and public will be able to get access to the same information in the future. It ensures that non-governmental officials have a right to know which communities and individuals have been harmed over the course of a public health emergency and can independently verify the information coming from authorities.