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      Home-deliveries Before-During COVID-19 Lockdown: Accessibility, Environmental Justice, Equity, and Policy Implications

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          Abstract

          During the COVID-19 lockdowns, home deliveries have changed from being a desirable luxury or comfortable solution to a health-supporting and essential service for many COVID-19 at-risk populations. However, not all households are equal in terms of access to home deliveries. The onset of COVID-19 has brought to light access inequalities that preceded the pandemic and that the COVID-19 lockdown has exacerbated and made visible. The concept of home-based accessibility (HBA) is introduced, and novel research questions are addressed: (i) What type of households had zero home deliveries before COVID-19 lockdown? (ii) How the COVID-19 lockdown affected the type of households that receive home deliveries? and (iii) What are the implications of no access to home delivery services in terms of equity and environmental justice? To answer the first two questions, exploratory and confirmatory models with latent variables are estimated utilizing data collected from an online survey representative of the population in the Portland metropolitan region. Policy and environmental equity implications are discussed using the concept of home-based accessibility (HBA). The results indicate that traditionally underserved populations are less likely to benefit from home-based delivery services and that COVID-19 has worsened home delivery inequalities for underserved populations.

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          Hospitalization and Mortality among Black Patients and White Patients with Covid-19

          Abstract Background Many reports on coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have highlighted age- and sex-related differences in health outcomes. More information is needed about racial and ethnic differences in outcomes from Covid-19. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed data from patients seen within an integrated-delivery health system (Ochsner Health) in Louisiana between March 1 and April 11, 2020, who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19) on qualitative polymerase-chain-reaction assay. The Ochsner Health population is 31% black non-Hispanic and 65% white non-Hispanic. The primary outcomes were hospitalization and in-hospital death. Results A total of 3626 patients tested positive, of whom 145 were excluded (84 had missing data on race or ethnic group, 9 were Hispanic, and 52 were Asian or of another race or ethnic group). Of the 3481 Covid-19–positive patients included in our analyses, 60.0% were female, 70.4% were black non-Hispanic, and 29.6% were white non-Hispanic. Black patients had higher prevalences of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease than white patients. A total of 39.7% of Covid-19–positive patients (1382 patients) were hospitalized, 76.9% of whom were black. In multivariable analyses, black race, increasing age, a higher score on the Charlson Comorbidity Index (indicating a greater burden of illness), public insurance (Medicare or Medicaid), residence in a low-income area, and obesity were associated with increased odds of hospital admission. Among the 326 patients who died from Covid-19, 70.6% were black. In adjusted time-to-event analyses, variables that were associated with higher in-hospital mortality were increasing age and presentation with an elevated respiratory rate; elevated levels of venous lactate, creatinine, or procalcitonin; or low platelet or lymphocyte counts. However, black race was not independently associated with higher mortality (hazard ratio for death vs. white race, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.68 to 1.17). Conclusions In a large cohort in Louisiana, 76.9% of the patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and 70.6% of those who died were black, whereas blacks comprise only 31% of the Ochsner Health population. Black race was not associated with higher in-hospital mortality than white race, after adjustment for differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics on admission.
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            COVID-19 exacerbating inequalities in the US

            COVID-19 does not affect everyone equally. In the US, it is exposing inequities in the health system. Aaron van Dorn, Rebecca E Cooney, and Miriam L Sabin report from New York. In the US, New York City has so far borne the brunt of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, with the highest reported number of cases and the highest death toll in the country. The first COVID-19 case in the city was reported on March 1, but community transmission was firmly established on March 7. As of April 14, New York State has tested nearly half a million people, among whom 195 031 have tested positive. In New York City alone, 106 763 people have tested positive and 7349 have died. “New York is the canary in the coal mine. What happens to New York is going to wind up happening to California, and Washington State and Illinois. It's just a matter of time”, said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, while asking for greater federal assistance. The response within New York City, known for its historically strong public health responses, has been to ramp up for the surge, but also to tailor the approach to address some of the most basic touchpoints that could worsen health outcomes, including providing three meals a day to all New York residents in need. Oxiris Barbot, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated, “Our primary focus at this moment has to be on keeping our city's communities safe. This means supporting the public hospitals with supplies; connecting underserved people to free access to care; and delivering health guidance through the trusted voices of community organizations. The COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end eventually, but what is needed afterward is a renewed focus to ensure that health is not a byproduct of privilege. Public health has a fundamental role to play in shaping our future to be more just and equitable.” Confirming existing disparities, within New York City and other urban centres, African American and other communities of colour have been especially affected by the COVID-10 pandemic. Across the country, deaths due to COVID-19 are disproportionately high among African Americans compared with the population overall. In Milwaukee, WI, three quarters of all COVID-19 related deaths are African American, and in St Louis, MO, all but three people who have died as a result of COVID-19 were African American. According to Sharrelle Barber of Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health (Philadelphia, PA, USA), the pre-existing racial and health inequalities already present in US society are being exacerbated by the pandemic. “Black communities, Latino communities, immigrant communities, Native American communities—we're going to bear the disproportionate brunt of the reckless actions of a government that did not take the proper precautions to mitigate the spread of this disease”, Barber said. “And that's going to be overlaid on top of the existing racial inequalities.” Part of the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities of colour has been structural factors that prevent those communities from practicing social distancing. Minority populations in the US disproportionally make up “essential workers” such as retail grocery workers, public transit employees, and health-care workers and custodial staff. “These front-line workers, disproportionately black and brown, then are typically a part of residentially segregated communities”, said Barber. “They don't have that privilege of quote unquote ‘staying at home’, connecting those individuals to the communities they are likely to be a part of because of this legacy of residential segregation, or structural racism in our major cities and most cities in the United States.” The negative consequences of health disparities for people who live in rural areas in the US were already a problem before the pandemic. Underserved African Americans face higher HIV incidence and greater maternal and infant mortality rates. Undocumented Latino communities working in rural industries such as farming, poultry, and meat production often have no health insurance. Poor white communities have been badly hit by the opioid crisis and across rural areas, especially in the southern states, high rates of non-communicable diseases are driven by conditions such as obesity. With higher COVID-19 mortality among those with underlying health conditions, these areas could be hit hard. © 2020 Spencer Platt/Getty Images 2020 Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active. 14 US states (mostly in the south and the Plains) have refused to accept the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion, leaving millions of the poorest and sickest Americans without access to health care, with the added effect of leaving many regional and local hospitals across the US closed or in danger of closing because of the high cost of medical care and a high proportion of rural uninsured and underinsured people. People with COVID-19 in those states will have poor access to the kind of emergency and intensive care they will need. Native American populations also have disproportionately higher levels of underlying conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, that would make them particularly at risk of complications from COVID-19. Health care for Native American communities has a unique place in the US. As part of treaty obligations owed by the US government to tribal groups, the Indian Health Service (IHS) provides direct point of care health care for the 2·6 million Native Americans living on tribal reservations. According to the IHS, there are currently 985 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on tribal reservations, and 536 cases in the Navajo Nation alone (the largest reservation). However, the IHS's ability to respond to the crisis might be limited: according to according to Kevin Allis, Chief Executive Officer of the National Congress of American Indians, the largest Native American advocacy organisation, the IHS has only 1257 hospital beds and 36 intensive care units, and many people covered by the IHS are hours away from the nearest IHS facility. The IHS also does not cover care from external providers. Although there is a provision of the CARES Act stimulus bill that is intended to cover those costs, it is unclear how effective it would be if someone covered by the IHS is transferred to a non-IHS facility. © 2020 Reuters/Kevin Lamarque 2020 Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active. The CARES Act also included US$8 billion to supplement the health and economies of Native Americans and Alaska Natives. Even that number was an increase from what President Donald Trump's administration originally wanted. “We knew the White House wanted to give us nothing”, Allis said. “And senate Republicans were okay with a billion and it fine-tuned its way to $8 billion.” But the deep history of injustice by the US government towards these people means that the US response will be looked on with suspicion. At the national level, the response has varied widely by state, with many states that voted for Trump in 2016—notably Florida, Texas, and Georgia—responding to the emerging pandemic later and with more lax measures. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican Trump ally, was slow to implement social-distancing measures and close non-essential businesses, and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp ordered beaches closed by local authorities to be reopened on April 3. However, the trend has not been universal: in Ohio, Republican Governor Mike DeWine was swift in issuing orders to shut non-essential businesses and in responding to the crisis. The federal response has also been overtly political. States with governors that Trump sees as political allies (such as Florida), have received the full measure of requested personal protective equipment from the federal stockpile, while states with governors whom Trump identifies as political enemies (such as New York's Cuomo, Oregon's Jay Inslee, and Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer, all Democrats) have received only a fraction of their requests. Trump has also publicly attacked the responses of those governors on Twitter and during his daily briefings. In distributing funds made available by the CARES Act, Trump also appears to be playing favourites: New York received only a fraction of the $30 billion hospital relief funds from the bill ($12 000 per patient), while other states much more lightly affected received more ($300 000 per patient in Montana and Nebraska, and more than $470 000 per patient in West Virginia, all states that voted for Trump in 2016). Although the numbers of reported cases seem to be levelling off in New York City and other urban areas, perhaps evidence that social-distancing measures are beginning to have an effect, emerging morbidity and mortality data have already clearly demonstrated what many have feared: a pandemic in which the brunt of the effects fall on already vulnerable US populations, and in which the deeply rooted social, racial, and economic health disparities in the country have been laid bare.
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              Variation in COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths Across New York City Boroughs

              This study describes demographic characteristics and hospital bed capacities of the 5 New York City boroughs, and evaluates whether differences in testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), hospitalizations, and deaths have emerged as a signal of racial, ethnic, and financial disparities.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Transp Res D Transp Environ
                Transp Res D Transp Environ
                Transportation Research. Part D, Transport and Environment
                Elsevier Ltd.
                1361-9209
                1879-2340
                25 February 2021
                25 February 2021
                : 102760
                Affiliations
                Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Transportation Technology and People Lab, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751-CEE, Portland, OR 97207, USA
                Article
                S1361-9209(21)00064-X 102760
                10.1016/j.trd.2021.102760
                7904472
                33649701
                a1fc301e-b84f-4f2c-b8ed-835735e4ee60
                © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                History
                : 10 September 2020
                : 7 January 2021
                : 3 February 2021
                Categories
                Article

                home deliveries,e-commerce,covid-19,equity,accessibility,environmental justice

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