With COVID-19 spreading, 49% of low-income communities have zero ICU beds

Health workers in protective gear move a masked patient into the back of an ambulance.

Enlarge / Medics switch a affected person on a stretcher from an ambulance outdoors of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital the place coronavirus sufferers are handled in Coral Gables close to Miami, on July 30, 2020. (credit score: Getty | CHANDAN KHANNA)

Because the coronavirus pandemic spreads uncontrolled in a lot of the US, a brand new research finds that nearly half of low-income areas are gravely unprepared to deal with extreme circumstances of COVID-19, hinting at larger dying charges to return.

Forty-nine p.c of the nation’s lowest-income communities—with median incomes of $35,000 or much less—have zero intensive care unit beds of their space hospitals. Wanting solely at rural areas, the image is even worse: 55 p.c had no ICU beds. That is in stark distinction to the highest-income communities, outlined by a median revenue of $90,000 and above. Of these, solely three p.c total lack entry to ICU beds. The research, revealed by researchers on the College of Pennsylvania, appeared this week within the journal Well being Affairs.

The findings additional heighten concern over how the pandemic is exacerbating gaping socioeconomic disparities within the US. Low-income communities are already extra susceptible to contracting COVID-19 because of unavoidable job-related publicity, reliance on mass transit, larger inhabitants densities, and fewer means to quarantine upon potential publicity, the authors be aware.

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