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27 factors that make you vulnerable to COVID-19

  • Homeless population: COVID-19 connection

    - Total homeless population: 562,184 (0.2% of U.S. population)

    A big piece of keeping down the spread and impact of COVID-19 is staying home, something that’s very hard to do for people who do not have one. The CDC did publish some guidelines on protecting homeless populations, but even homeless shelters, places that are supposed to help people stay off the streets, are places where COVID-19 has been spreading.

  • Homeless population: Demographics

    States with the largest populations:

    #1. District of Columbia: 1.0% of state population (505.6% above national average)

    #2. New York: 0.5% (198.4% above national average)

    #3. Hawaii: 0.5% (186.6% above national average)

    #4. Oregon: 0.4% (147.2% above national average)

    #5. California: 0.4% (145.6% above national average)

    New York City’s homeless population is 198.4% more than the national average. The coronavirus has been hard for this group. So far, at least 76 homeless people have died of COVID-19 and as of May 15, there were 961 confirmed cases among the population. In addition, when New York City began closing its subway overnight last month, it pushed more homeless people outside, because many sleep on the subways.

  • Population without health insurance: COVID-19 connection

    - Total population without health insurance: 32.5 million (10.1% of U.S. population)

    There are currently 32.5 million people without health insurance in the United States, even though the Affordable Care Act was supposed to make coverage accessible to everyone. People without health insurance have less access to testing and treatment and are also more likely to have jobs with increased possibility of exposure. And because in the United States health insurance is often linked to employment, as people are losing their jobs due to the pandemic, an estimated additional 27 million people may be losing their insurance.

  • Population without health insurance: Demographics

    States with the largest populations:

    #1. Texas: 20.2% of state population (118.0% above national average)

    #2. Oklahoma: 16.3% (75.8% above national average)

    #3. Georgia: 15.6% (67.9% above national average)

    #4. Mississippi: 14.7% (58.8% above national average)

    #5. Florida: 14.5% (56.0% above national average)

    The five states with the largest populations of uninsured people all did not accept the Medicaid expansion that was part of the Affordable Care Act and are all located in the South. Given the scale of the current pandemic, Oklahoma is looking at ways to expand Medicaid, although only temporarily. In Texas and Florida, there have been many calls for this expansion but no political movement.

  • Population below poverty line: COVID-19 connection

    - Total population below poverty line: 44.3 million (13.7% of U.S. population)

    44.3 million people live below the poverty threshold in the United States, which for one person under the age of 65 in 2019 was $13,300 per year. People in poverty often work jobs that cannot have social distance, meaning that people in poverty are more likely to come into contact with the virus and less likely to have good access to health care.

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  • Population below poverty line: Demographics

    States with the largest populations:

    #1. Mississippi: 20.8% of state population (52.3% above national average)

    #2. New Mexico: 20.0% (46.5% above national average)

    #3. Louisiana: 19.4% (42.1% above national average)

    #4. Kentucky: 17.9% (31.1% above national average)

    #5. West Virginia: 17.8% (30.4% above national average)

    The states with the largest populations of people living in poverty are in the southern United States. Louisiana, which has 19.4% of its population living below the threshold, has had 2,801 COVID-19 deaths as of June 3. As of May 20, 54.4% of the state’s deaths were Black or African American residents, who are more likely to experience poverty in the state.

  • Health care workers: COVID-19 connection

    - Total health care workers: 15.2 million (4.7% of U.S. population)

    As of June 3, there have been 67,669 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 331 confirmed deaths among health care workers. However, these numbers are certainly incomplete, as a recent survey done by National Nurses United, the country’s largest union of nurses, found that of 23,000 nurses, more than 80% had not yet been tested for the coronavirus.

  • Health care workers: Demographics

    States with the largest populations:

    #1. District of Columbia: 7.2% of state population (50.1% above national average)

    #2. Minnesota: 6.4% (33.9% above national average)

    #3. Massachusetts: 6.3% (32.0% above national average)

    #4. New York: 6.0% (25.4% above national average)

    #5. North Dakota: 6.0% (25.0% above national average)

    Health care workers are on the front lines, up close and personal with COVID-19 patients. New York State has 25.4% more health care workers than the national average, and more than half of the nurses in the New York State union report that they still do not have enough personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns. Health care workers want to be more included in decision-making as states reopen.

  • Unemployed population: COVID-19 connection

    - National unemployment rate (May 2020): 13.3%
    - Total jobless claims: 21.0 million (6.5% of U.S. population)

    Currently, 21 million United States residents, 6.5% of the total population, are unemployed, which is 13.3% of the workforce (i.e. people of working age). These numbers have climbed significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. While the numbers of unemployed have dropped a little since April, there are still currently around 3.2 million weekly claims for unemployment benefits, whereas the pre-COVID average per week was 350,000. This is extra worrying because being unemployed is a risk factor for COVID-19 complications.

  • Unemployed population: Demographics

    States with the largest populations:

    #1. Nevada: 29.8% of state population (113.7% above national average)

    #2. Michigan: 23.8% (70.7% above national average)

    #3. Hawaii: 23.5% (68.5% above national average)

    #4. Rhode Island: 17.8% (27.6% above national average)

    #5. Ohio: 17.4% (24.8% above national average)

    Nevada has been hit especially hard during this time, with 29.8% of its population currently unemployed. This is the highest in the nation and also the highest for any state since 1976, which is when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking this data. Nevada has a large service economy, and many of these businesses were forced to close during COVID-19.

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