Which U.S. cities are most susceptible to unfold of COVID-19?

Coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) first arose in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019, earlier than spreading quickly throughout the remainder of the world. Within the first weeks following the detection of extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outdoors mainland China, nations in Europe, moderately than the close by Asian nations, suffered from greater case numbers. This was partially because of the speedy and efficient measures already in place to manage pandemics in Asia, but in addition because of the differing demographics between the nations – Italy, with one of many oldest populations, confirmed large spikes in circumstances early on.

Now, researchers from New Jersey Metropolis College have been trying to discover the identical elements to establish vulnerability in U.S. cities. Their analysis, into consideration on the journal Scientific Experiences, is presently obtainable on the Analysis Sq.* preprint server.

Pandemic vulnerability index of US citiesPandemic vulnerability index of US cities

The Research

A complete of 41 variables associated to demographics, social and financial options, the environment of the people, and the well being of assorted areas had been studied with variable weights derived with the F-Classification (F.C.) function choice algorithm as to the extent of their capability to point the prevalence of COVID-19 infections in U.S. cities. 5 vulnerability dimensions with scores in shut vary (0.17-0.22) had been chosen. Demographics had been recognized as essentially the most influential dimension for the unfold of COVID-19 at 0.22, with mobility & connectivity and well being & setting each shut behind with 0.21 every, adopted instantly by socioeconomic elements (0.19) and concrete kind & density at 0.17.

​​​​​​​Vulnerability clusters and outliers of 3,069 US citiesVulnerability clusters and outliers of three,069 US cities

An important subfactors inside these variables had substantial results on COVID-19 transmission. Throughout the ten demographic variables, the dimensions of the youthful inhabitants was recognized as essentially the most essential issue for COVID-19 transmission. This was probably as a consequence of larger social mobility, exacerbated by an absence of COVID-19 security protocols and a decrease probability of receiving the vaccine. The opposite variables largely adopted anticipated patterns, with variables indicating greater inhabitants density or larger mobility rising the probability of upper transmission charges.

This sample continued when analyzing the socioeconomic variables, with the very best weight variable proven to be congested dwelling, at 0.17. This was adopted by schooling degree, per capita and median earnings and low-wage inhabitants, all of that are extremely linked. Educated individuals are extra more likely to be health-conscious, whereas higher-income helps people keep away from crowded locations by transferring engagements on-line. Working inhabitants, earnings inequality, cellular housing, and the unemployment fee had been all proven to have weak or no affect on the variety of COVID-19 circumstances. When analyzing the person variables inside every of the 5 vulnerability dimensions, essentially the most influential by far was the uninsured inhabitants, at 0.28, adopted intently by air high quality and distance to the closest metropolitan metropolis.

Following this, the researchers investigated the pandemic vulnerability index on the metropolis degree (PVI-Cl), as this was discovered to offer the most effective match. PVI-Cl scores had been categorized in 5 courses, with cities categorized as very excessive, excessive, reasonable, or low vulnerability. The overwhelming majority (1,390) of cities had been discovered to be at reasonable vulnerability, however 29% had been at excessive or very ranges of vulnerability. Typically, cities in California, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina confirmed a few of the highest ranges of vulnerability, whereas cities within the Rockies had been on the decrease finish.

Mapping out the calculated PVI-Cl scores helps display many patterns. As one would anticipate, remoted cities within the North West/Midlands tended to be categorized as low or very low vulnerability. California stands out as a hotspot of ‘very excessive cities,’ as do Texas and Florida. The extremely populated east incorporates a sea of reasonable and low cities, with a number of clusters of excessive vulnerability areas. Following native evaluation of spatial autocorrelation utilizing Native Moran’s I on PVI-Cl scores, the researchers revealed that 35% of cities had been clustered inside a geographic grouping of equally excessive vulnerability on the 95% confidence degree, with the geography of upper vulnerability exhibiting distinctive patterns of 5 massive clusters of upper vulnerability in areas of larger inhabitants density.


The authors’ analyses assist establish a few of the most and least at-risk cities within the U.S. and think about a broad vary of variables that would assist native governments establish the place their native points may come up from. It additionally makes use of a multi-method strategy to generate extra profound insights into the variation of weights of the variables, demonstrating the important elements of pandemic vulnerability in addition to evaluating case and mortality charges. The analysis might assist inform future public well being coverage, particularly in cities with the very best vulnerability scores.

Journal reference:

  • Md. Shahinoor Rahman, Kamal Chandra Paul, Md. Mokhlesur Rahman et al. Pandemic Vulnerability Index of U.S. Cities: A Hybrid Information-based and Knowledge-driven Method, 24 March 2022, PREPRINT (Model 1) obtainable at Analysis Sq., https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-1417025/v1

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