Research Alert: July 5, 2023
Spatial Clustering of COVID-19 Mortality Rates Across Counties and by Noncore, Micropolitan, and Metropolitan County Characteristics, December 2020–January 2021
This policy brief examines spatial clusters of COVID-19 mortality rates across counties in the United States between December 2020 and January 2021. Between December 2020 and January 2021, COVID-19 deaths were at their peak, hospital capacity was stretched, and COVID-19 vaccines were not widely available, making this a critical time period to examine.
- Spatial clusters of high COVID-19 mortality rates occurred in Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Arizona.
- A higher percentage of clusters of high COVID-19 mortality rates were in noncore and micropolitan counties compared to metropolitan counties.
- High COVID-19 mortality cluster counties tended to have higher average percentages of Hispanic populations, particularly in micropolitan counties.
- Noncore counties that were high COVID-19 mortality clusters had the highest average nursing home bed density and the highest average proportion of Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.
Whitney E. Zahnd, PhD
RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
Additional Resources of Interest:
- COVID-19 Mortality Rates Across Noncore, Micropolitan, and Metropolitan Counties by Community Characteristics, December 2020-January 2021
- More information about the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
- More information from the Rural Health Information Hub's topic guides: COVID-19, Rural Health Policy