COVID-19 Insights: Air Quality
Harvard University identified a connection between the COVID-19 death rate and air quality. What other respiratory factors should be considered?

Published April 14, 2020


We, at Metopio, want you to be safe and healthy.

While communities are implementing the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are ways this pandemic highlights existing health challenges such as the affects of poor air quality.

We are constantly updating Metopio’s curated data sets to offer opportunities to understand how the places and populations you care about are impacted. This analysis tackles air quality.

The Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health study found higher levels of the tiny, dangerous particles in air known as PM 2.5 were associated with higher COVID-19 death rates. The study controlled for certain variables including cigarette smoking.

We have replicated this finding in the scatterplot below at the county level. It shows a highly significant correlation between the COVID-19 death rate per 100,000 residents and the average annual diesel particulate matter. A scatterplot simply shows the relationship between two sets of data along an x and y axis.

Click on or hover over any bubble on the scatterplot above to see the corresponding county on the map.

Since outdoor air quality seems significantly correlated with increased mortality rates, we went a step further and wanted to see if other “pollutants” might show the same effect. In this case, we looked at daily cigarette smoking and found a similar relationship with the COVID-19 death rate.

Click on or hover any bubble on the scatterplot above to see the corresponding area on the map.

Check back as we access more data and dig deeper to provide you with these valuable insights.

Do you have data that would enhance this analysis?

Metopio aggregates high-quality, verified data that has some geographic component - think address or any part thereof - to develop insights that inform your business and policy decisions.

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