CHI’s analysis and interactive maps showing data from the Colorado Health Observation Regional Data Service (CHORDS) were a big hit this week among major media outlets along the Front Range. Articles covered the analysis and the findings – including the high rates of COVID in neighborhoods where residents had lower education levels and higher concentrations of non-English speakers and people of color.
CHI President and CEO Michele Lueck interviewed with CBS Denver.
“Getting the disease was much, much different by really dramatic proportions between essentially the haves and the have nots,” Lueck said. “What’s most striking and what’s most sobering to me is that these are the inequities that we see play out time and time again.”
CHI’s Director of Communications Joe Hanel was cited by Colorado Public Radio, The Denver Post, and the Colorado Sun.
“There are neighborhoods where more people are engaged in essential work, more people live in crowded housing conditions,” Hanel said. “What we see here is COVID following socioeconomic patterns.”
The Denver Post
Denver’s blue-collar neighborhoods hit hard by COVID, while wealthier areas were largely spared - New mapping from Colorado Health Institute shows Boulder is an exception to pattern linking income and cases
When the data is mapped, Denver’s 'upside-down L' of neighborhoods where banks wouldn’t lend money in the first half of the 20th century because of their demographics is visible, said Joe Hanel, director of communications at the Colorado Health Institute.
It’s not surprising those neighborhoods, where people are more likely to be essential workers and live in crowded housing, were hit harder by the pandemic," Hanel said.
“It’s a pattern that’s familiar to public health researchers in Denver,” he said.
The Colorado Sun
Hanel said these patterns of inequity don’t just show up in Denver. In the Colorado Health Institute’s analysis, they also were evident in parts of Adams and Weld counties.
Hanel highlighted Greeley. Areas in the eastern half of the city, including the neighborhood where the JBS meatpacking plant is located, saw high rates of COVID-19 cases. More affluent areas in the western half of the city did not.
“A lot of these neighborhoods, these are folks who were exposed at work because they had to go to their job, which was face-to-face,” Hanel said.
Research Analyst Guadalupe Solis and Communications Director Joe Hanel were featured in on 9News.
COVID-19 infection rates differ by neighborhood across the Denver Metro: The report from the Colorado Health Institute compares the COVID-19 diagnosis rate, and several census tracts of many Denver neighborhoods
"...the patterns that we're seeing really go beyond income or beyond poverty, if you will," said Guadalupe Solis, a Research Analyst with CHI, and was heavily involved in producing the report. "...what we're seeing here is that there are other factors such as educational attainment or, you know, the language that you speak at home that really will influence disease distribution or just the likelihood of someone contracting COVID-19."
"...what this map is really spotlighting is not where people were careless and got COVID, but where people's lives were built in such a way that it's really hard to avoid COVID," said Joe Hanel, the Communications Director at CHI, who was also the Research Director of the project.