Los Angeles County COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators

To slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge and UCLA BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy teamed up to develop neighborhood vulnerability indicators to help local decision makers, public health officials and scientists pinpoint which areas in Los Angeles are most at risk of being infected with the coronavirus. We developed four indicators that combine pre-existing medical vulnerabilities with social and built-environment determinants factors for zip code tabulation areas (ZCTAs): 1) Preexisting Health Condition; 2) Barriers to Accessing Services; 3) Built Environment Risk and 4) CDC’s Social Vulnerability.

Neighborhoods are ranked into quintiles by relative vulnerability.

It is our hope that the neighborhood and medical vulnerability indicators will be employed by local agencies to reduce and potentially halt new infections in areas of particularly high risk. This can be part of local efforts’ to move the county into conditions that can facilitate greater opening up of the county and its cities in order to support economic recovery. Further, it is our hope that this study can help guide Los Angeles and the state of California to move towards a science-based and equitable opening to help the most vulnerable neighborhoods.

We thank the UCLA’s BRITE Center on Science, Research & Policy (MD 006923) for providing partial support for this research and analyses.

The indicators were developed by Dr. Paul M. Ong, Chhandara Pech, Nataly Rios Gutierrez, and Dr. Vickie M. Mays .

Web maps developed by Abigail Fitzgibbon.

Download the report here >> > Los Angeles Neighborhoods and COVID-19 Medical Vulnerability Indicators: A Local Data Model for Equity in Public Health Decision-Making