In a MarketWatch article from March 25, Jessica Justman, MD, ICAP’s senior technical director, notes that population density and income level impact the spread of COVID-19 in New York City:
There’s another aspect to population density that made poorer New York City neighborhoods particularly susceptible, said Jessica Justman, an associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
“It is also about the average number of people living in a household. People living alone in an apartment will be able to practice social distancing more easily than people who live with a large family, or who are sharing space with many others,” Justman said.
Household density explains why Queens is the hardest hit borough in the city, as it has a relatively larger population of low-income immigrant families living in greater numbers in smaller spaces, she said. “It makes sense that the epidemic would concentrate in areas where many people occupy the same household,” she said.