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Demographics and mitigation efforts associated with the county-level impact of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

Brassil, Bridget (2021) Demographics and mitigation efforts associated with the county-level impact of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The COVID-19 pandemic deeply impacted the world in 2020, with the U.S having over 20 million total cases by the end of the year. An important lesson learned through the response effort in the U.S. was that minority groups and those of low socio-economic status were those most affected by the pandemic, both on an individual level and a community level. The main objective of this paper was to determine whether these demographic disparities could explain to an extent the county differences in the impact of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, and whether the phased re-opening strategy also contributed to this variation between counties. To meet this objective, a linear mixed model was developed to examine associations between demographic variables and the daily incidence rate over time. To assess the impact of phased re-opening on COVID-19 incidence, the number of days spent in phases before complete re-opening was also examined as a factor to the linear mixed model. This analysis found that lower median income, lower median age, and higher a percentage of urban land-use was associated with increases in the daily incidence rate. However, these associations changed depending on the time period, with race being a significant effect especially during March to June. As far as the phased re-opening strategy, the model results suggested that from March to June, phase changes were in response to each county’s incidence rates, but that counties that stayed in the first phases longer had lower incidence rates in the last three months of 2020. This research adds to the growing body of evidence that racial, income, and health disparities impact community-level outcomes of COVID-19, and therefore need to be considered when implementing a public health response.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Brassil, Bridgetbrb194@pitt.edubrb194
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee Chairvan Panhuis, Wilbertwgvanpanhuis@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBuchanich, Jeanine M.jeanine@pitt.edujeanineUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberKrauland, Mary G.mgk8@pitt.edumgk8UNSPECIFIED
Date: 12 May 2021
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 49
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 12 May 2021 21:36
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 21:36


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