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Planning for community resiliency in recovery from COVID-19: October 2, 2020

Author: Dr. Sandra Magalhaes, Madeleine Gorman-Asal, Paramdeep Singh, Chandy Somayaji
Year: 2020
Category: Health Publications

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Population-based risk indicators can support decision-making in planning for future waves of, and recovery from, COVID-19. They can inform efforts to limit spread and exacerbation of infection in those most at risk and help identify at-risk groups likely impacted by measures to limit spread. 

As part of our research, we are deriving risk indicators using population-level data that can help identify vulnerable populations who may be at higher risk of consequences related to COVID-19 infection or public health restrictions, including 

  • poor health outcomes associated with infection, 
  • greater risk of infection in collective dwellings, 
  • mental health impacts associated with distancing measures, 
  • poor educational outcomes due to school closures, and 
  • financial vulnerability associated with employment interruptions. 
  • While stay-at-home measures aim to reduce community spread of infection and protect those vulnerable to poor health outcomes, they increase proximity among those living in collective dwellings. In the absence of complete lockdown, the opportunity for infection to enter the home exists. Those living in residential facilities (e.g. special care homes) and apartments have greater risk of infection. As measures relax, schools re-open, which further increases opportunity for transmission across households. Public health measures to control spread of COVID-19 may also have unintended consequences for individuals residing alone, low-income families, individuals with uncertain employment, children with special needs, individuals susceptible to mental health challenges, and those with chronic conditions unable to manage them effectively. 

The goal of our research is to develop an analytical framework to generate community level indicators that are relevant to COVID-19 pandemic planning and recovery efforts in New Brunswick.

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