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Community-Level Factors Associated with COVID-19 Morbidity and Mortality in Queens, New York City

Gunness HJ

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a profound and disproportionate effect on poor and vulnerable communities in Queens, New York City. Community-level factors likely are the root causes of these disparities. Using publicly available data, we compare community-level factors amongtwo communities in New York City, a district with the highest incidence of COVID-19 and the other, a district with the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths. We extracted data on demographics, health status, access to healthcare, socioeconomic conditions, and environmental characteristics on these two communities from public records on June 11, 2020. The community with the highest number of COVID-19 cases has lower education, limited English proficiency, and severe over crowding. In contrast, the community with the highest number of deaths experiences more health disparities, avoidable hospitalizations, and premature deaths. This study adds to the existing literature on COVID-19 affecting vulnerable communities with high incidence and mortality.