A new study from the University of Utah shows low-income Utahns and minorities who live in Glendale and Rose Park are being hit the hardest by COVID-19.
According to our content partners at the Salt Lake Tribune, the study was conducted by a team of six university researchers and two students who analyzed COVID-19 cases in 34 zip codes in Salt Lake County. They discovered that the rate of people testing positive for the virus was ten times higher in low-income areas, such as Glendale and Rose Park, than the rates in wealthier areas, such as Sandy or Draper.
Researchers point to several barriers affecting members of these communities. One such barrier is that many of the people living in Glendale and Rose Park are essential workers who do not have the option of staying home.
Another barrier is access to healthcare, as many hospitals and clinics are primarily located on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley, far away from many of these low-income neighborhoods. Access to food and public transportation are also limited in these areas.
“Right now, I’m in a public place and I’m masked up,” said State Representative Angela Romero, who lives in Glendale. “Many people in Glendale and Rose Park and some of our hot spots aren’t able to do that, just due to the disparities that existed before COVID-19."
The study also found that air quality improved more on the east side of Salt Lake County than the west side, as wealthier people have the option to work from home.
Romero went on to say that she is working with other lawmakers on policies that will address the shortfalls present in these areas so that families can recover from the effects of the pandemic along with the rest of the state.