COVID-19 RESOURCES, NEWS and PUBLICATIONS
The NYC Neighborhoods COVID-19 Dashboard is a tracker and data visualization tool to provide continuously updated sources of COVID-19 data in NYC for lay public, essential workers, policymakers, and researchers.
There are four tools available (located at the top navigation menu):
• COVID-19 Tracker provides daily tracking of the local development for COVID-19 cases, deaths, and tests in 177 NYC ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs).
• COVID-19 Distribution provides a data visualization of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in NYC ZCTAs and by age, gender, and race/ethnicity.
• COVID-19 Trends shows the time trends for COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by NYC boroughs, ZCTAs, and demographics.
• Neighborhoods shows and compares the neighborhood characteristics of NYC ZCTAs.
In early April, at one of his popular daily briefings, Governor Andrew Cuomo began by quipping that all the days seem to blend together before launching into a presentation on the rapid spread of COVID-19. He explained what the science was saying about the potential for hospitals to be overwhelmed—evidence supporting the necessity of a lockdown. Among the science he cited were “frightening” projections by Columbia Mailman Professor Jeffrey Shaman’s research group, noting “that’s the one that keeps me up at night.”
Research by Wil Lieberman-Cribbin, a doctoral student in environmental health sciences, is revealing neighborhood disparities in coronavirus testing in New York City. As any public health student knows, testing is the cornerstone of disease surveillance, and never more so than during a pandemic. Absent a clear picture of where COVID-19 is spreading, public health officials are less able to orchestrate an effective response. Lieberman-Cribbin’s research was the focus of an October 30 New York Times article, which summarized his findings:
“Overwhelmingly, the wealthiest neighborhoods—in fact, most of Manhattan below 110th Street—showed the highest rates of testing, while the poorest neighborhoods, in Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx, for example, largely correlated with the lowest. In some instances, the differences between the most affluent communities and the least advantaged were four times as great.”
A new article by Columbia Mailman School researchers Jeffrey Shaman and Marta Galanti explores the potential for the COVID-19 virus to become endemic, a regular feature producing recurring outbreaks in humans. They identify crucial contributing factors, including the risk for reinfection, vaccine availability and efficacy, as well as potential seasonality and interactions with other viral infections that may modulate the transmission of the virus. The article appears in the journal Science.
As we’ve seen repeatedly over the last six months, public health measures to fight the pandemic are contingent on the cooperation of the public. People wear masks only so long as they have the correct information and trust those providing guidance. Sadly, in the United States, too often we’ve been given mixed messages and misinformation.
Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and associate research scientist in the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, is a member of an international panel assembled by the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop animal models for COVID-19 to accelerate the testing of vaccines and therapeutic agents. The WHO panel published a review of its findings to date in the journal Nature today.
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists advised on the creation of a new laboratory facility dedicated to rapid processing of COVID-19 tests in New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the Pandemic Response Lab late last week.
School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted access to low or no-cost school breakfast and lunch programs for millions of low-income children. States and school districts developed innovative solutions to meet the nutritional needs of children and respond to the rapidly growing food insecurity crisis, yet the number of replacement meals is likely far short of what they provided prior to the pandemic, according to a study led by a researcher at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Reducing contact rates—mainly via school closures and voluntary or mandated stay-at-home measures—contributed to around a 70 percent reduction in the transmission of COVID-19 in New York City during the spring pandemic wave from March to the June reopening. Widespread use of face coverings contributed an additional 7 percent reduction, and up to 20 percent reduction among those aged 65 and older during the first month face covering was mandated in public places.
Thanks to effective public health measures, the COVID-19 outbreak is now much less severe in New York City than it was in the spring, although upwards of 100 people still test positive every day. As businesses and schools reopen, there is a chance that the coronavirus could reassert itself.
Almost exactly 39 years ago, the US Centers for Disease Control reported five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among previously healthy gay men . By the end of 1985, HIV was reported from every region in the world. Three decades later, 75 million people have acquired HIV and about 32 million have died from it .
The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives in ways previously unimaginable, wreaking havoc in communities near and far. Despite our uncomfortable familiarity with the contagion, there is still a great deal to learn about the novel coronavirus—not least of all, pressing questions on the safety of reopening and when we can expect an effective vaccine.
“When COVID-19 emerged, we realized that we had to pivot to quickly mobilize the resources needed in order to respond to the urgent calls for assistance that we were receiving.” — Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP Director
Since the first evidence of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, ICAP at Columbia University recognized the potentially devastating impact of COVID-19 in many of the countries where it works, countries where health systems are particularly fragile. Building on nearly two decades of experience in responding to the world’s most significant public health challenges and harnessing its longstanding partnerships with ministries of health across the globe, ICAP has mounted a comprehensive response to COVID-19 in 24 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas in partnership with stakeholders in each of the countries.
The world has been living through the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly eight months. Much is still unknown about the illness that has stricken 14.8 million people and killed more than 610,000 worldwide, but every day brings new insights and developments. Columbia experts have been at the forefront of the international response to this crisis. We asked them to review what we’ve learned, so far, and to discuss the most significant challenges ahead.
Although information about COVID-19 protective behaviors such as handwashing, mask-wearing, and social distancing has been widely disseminated in the United States by federal and local governments, research has shown significant gaps in the public’s understanding and behavior, maybe because of inconsistency and lack of optimal tailoring. A new article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine led by Columbia research John Allegrante, PhD, argues behavioral science expertise that is central to achieving protective behaviors.
As COVID-19 continues to spread, countries around the world are working to establish public health policies that balance re-opening their economies with mitigating the spread of infection, to varying degrees of success. Several months into the global pandemic, the United States faces a new surge of cases, and possibly a second wave.
In one of the most robust studies of COVID-19 mortality risk in the United States, researchers estimate an infection fatality rate more than double estimates from other countries, with the greatest risk to older adults. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene colleagues published the findings on the pre-print server medRxiv ahead of peer review.
Data modeling projections by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists evaluate potential policies to reduce new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in coming months, including by limiting school capacity by 50 percent or capping capacity of certain industries to 25 percent during Phase Four, as well as by implementing an “adaptive PAUSE” system to re-implement social distancing rules during a rebound. The researchers have been working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on COVID-19 planning. Their new report is posted on Github.
Social distancing and limited access to contraceptive and abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young adults according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Rutgers University. The researchers address how these challenges, as well as peer and romantic relationships, are being navigated. The findings are published in the journal Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health.
As news reports underline the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, a new data visualization dashboard developed by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health scientists may be the first to compile state-level COVID-19 demographic information for age, race/ethnicity and sex. The Demographics by State COVID-19 Reporting (DSCovR) Dashboard allows policymakers, scientists, and the lay public to visualize and compare COVID-19 time trends and demographic information among cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across states.
As news reports highlight the devastating impact of COVID-19 in communities of color, including elevated rates of severe illness and death, Columbia Mailman School experts say more attention should be paid to factors that give rise to those outcomes.
Early research has revealed that people of color, and those living in poverty and crowded housing situations have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. But these findings have come as no surprise to Diana Hernández, who grew up in the South Bronx and is still a resident of the diverse and historically low-income New York City neighborhood, which is a hotspot for the virus.
New York may have as many as 93 cases of children presenting with a new pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome likely linked to COVID-19. At least three children have died, and two more deaths are under investigation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
Rates of domestic violence that are already shockingly high—one in four women and one in ten men in the U.S. experience intimate partner violence—could be even higher today as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This month in New York City, calls to domestic violence hotlines and visits to support websites in New York City have spiked. A newly published paper by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health researchers cites reports of a recent surge in domestic violence in China during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead of affecting everyone equally, the coronavirus is amplifying the racial disparities in health outcomes across the United States. The disparities result from the country’s own pre-existing condition: an environment where people’s living and working conditions are anything but equal when it comes to pollution levels and protection from harmful toxins.
But some of the data shows glimmers of hope. While hundreds of food banks were forced to close, the city’s volunteer pool vastly expanded. Air pollution is down. Applications to foster abandoned animals skyrocketed.
A map recently released by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene broke down confirmed cases by ZIP code, and the results are shockingly clear: The coronavirus is disproportionately affecting low-income neighborhoods, which in New York also tend to be communities of color.
Many parents are wondering how to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. Here is some advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute.
Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are far more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates.
Links to the newest COVID-19 resources from the Mailman School of Public Health and others. Please share with your networks, family and friends. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy
Dr. Diana Hernandez speaks about the invisible toll that COVID-19 has on poor and working class families. What can the government do to ensure the safety and health of all people in our communities?
The 2011 film Contagion, costars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Jennifer Ehle, and Marion Cotillard teamed up with scientists at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health to create this important public service announcements. Please share.
Established by Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the Biobank will to collect, store, and disseminate biological specimens and clinical data for researchers at Columbia University and elsewhere.
Drs. Rundle, Park, Herbstman, Kinsey, and Wang discuss risks of weight gain and importance of encouraging physical activity as part of remote learning for children during COVID-19.
Academics at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Montreal who studied the 1918 influenza crisis found that U.S. cities burning more coal for electricity — a stand-in for pollution at a time with little air monitoring — had substantially more “excess” deaths than low-coal cities.
Please find links to COVID-19 resources and update on our move to remote work. Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.