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California Crowded Neighborhoods Hit the Hardest By COVID-19

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With the increasing debate around blaming density and overcrowding for the spread of the novel coronavirus, we will take the next few newsletters to explore the role that density, overcrowding and other social conditions have in the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. In this newsletter, we wanted to highlight a recent report by Cal Matters that finds that crowded neighborhoods with high poverty rates and number of essential workers are showing high number of people infected with COVID-19. Locally, Latinx residents are the ethnic group with the most confirmed COVID-19 cases at 47.6% of all positive cases. Latinxs only represent 25% of the county’s population.  Above 20% of Latinx residents in our county live in overcrowded conditions, way above the 8% average of all residents in the county. The report highlights that is a combination of factors (overcrowded houses, population density, the nature of the jobs, and poverty level) that impact the infection rates in the California counties analyzed in the report. These factors are resulting in infection rates higher in lower-income communities of color.

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