The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak not only targets densely packed cities and towns, but it also attacks poorer and rural communities where larger families live in smaller houses.
A new study from the Wall Street Journal, which analyzed each of the countries 1,487 counties with at least 50 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, June 7, found that the virus has been “stalking” households with families of more than five.
"Across the country, the virus has spread more widely in places with the most crowded households, not necessarily places with the largest or densest populations,” the analysts said. “Remote, rural hamlets where extended families live under the same roof have turned deadlier than some of the densest blocks of Manhattan or Chicago.”
The study found that the top 10 percent of counties with the highest rates of crowding accounted for 28 percent of the COVID-19 cases among the 1,487 counties, according to the data provided.
Housing analysts and some government agencies consider a home with more than one resident per room to be crowded. According to census data, that includes approximately four million homes nationally.
According to the report, the zip codes with the largest share of households of at least five people have “disproportionate shares of their counties’ COVID-19 infections. The problem is particularly acute in poorer and minority communities, according to data from some cities, where extended families often live together and lack space and resources to isolate anyone who falls ill.”
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