Race, Income, Nursing Homes: Factors Behind Why Hampden County Has The State's Highest Rate Of COVID-19 Deaths
From the website version of the report:
Hampden County has the sixth highest rate in Massachusetts for confirmed COVID-19 cases. But it has the highest rate of deaths.
That indicates people who contract the virus in Hampden County are, on average, more likely to die from it than elsewhere in the state.
Mark Melnik has been collecting data on COVID-19 for the UMass Donahue Institute. He noted that Hampden County is home to four so-called “gateway cities”: Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield and Springfield.
Gateway cities are defined as mid-sized former manufacturing hubs that now fall below the state average for income and education. Melnik said they tend to have more people who work in retail or service jobs — and live close together.
“And as we are seeing in these data, close proximity to people, density of people living in large households, these are the issues that are leading to a [higher] infection rate,” he said.
May 13, 2020