Location Matters: Geographic Disparities and Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019

J Infect Dis. 2020 Nov 13;222(12):1951-1954. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa583.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the United States has revealed major disparities in the access to testing and messaging about the pandemic based on the geographic location of individuals, particularly in communities of color, rural areas, and areas of low income. This geographic disparity, in addition to deeply rooted structural inequities, have posed additional challenges to adequately diagnose and provide care for individuals of all ages living in these settings. We describe the impact that COVID-19 has had on geographically disparate populations in the United States and share our recommendations on what might be done to ameliorate the current situation.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; geographic disparity; racial disparity; rural settings.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / ethnology
  • COVID-19 Testing / trends*
  • Ethnicity*
  • Geography, Medical*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Poverty
  • Social Determinants of Health / ethnology
  • United States / epidemiology