COVID-19: Risks by County
By now, we know coronavirus is not necessarily “the great equalizer.” High density areas, non-white communities, and low-income neighborhoods are more likely to see persistent spread.
Certain people are also at higher risk of COVID-19 complications that require hospitalization and can even lead to death. The U.S. Census Bureau has developed a new Community Resilience Tool that shows which counties in the U.S. are at greater risk from disasters and emergencies including COVID-19. Communities are considered high risk if at least 30% of their population has three or more risk factors such as heart disease, being aged 65 or older, lacking health insurance or having diabetes.
The main takeaway: despite the lack of density, rural counties are at greater risk than urban ones. 20% of all U.S. counties are considered high-risk. But among rural counties, that figure is 30%. Southern states are particularly critical.
Yet another interactive map is also helping us determine which areas are seeing the most spread. The COVID Risk Levels Dashboard from the Harvard Global Health Institute breaks it down by every county in the U.S.
The map is color-coded, with red for highest severity, followed by orange, then yellow, then green. Eight California counties are in red: Colusa, Marin, Merced, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Santa Barbara, and Imperial. More than a dozen more are in Orange including Los Angeles County. Just 5 counties are in green (lowest severity): Modoc, Trinity, Plumas, Sierra, and Alpine.