Data company unveils COVID-19 vulnerability map

(FOX 35 Orlando)

A data science company has created a tool to help those on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus.

The company RS21 has developed a map that displays which communities may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.  RS21 hopes health officials can use the Urban Health Vulnerability Index to identify where to focus resources and efforts.

“We’re deeply concerned about Florida, and we’re rooting for you every step of the way,” said Charles Rath, CEO of New Mexico-based RS21. "We wanted to help communities identify where are the hot spots of these populations that could be the most affected,” said Rath.

The company uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Census to identify neighborhoods that may be more susceptible. Those include communities with higher populations of elderly residents, immunocompromised residents, and those without health insurance.

“These are the neighborhood we should be most concerned about,” said Rath.

Rath hopes local leaders and non-profits use the map as a guide to where they should focus attention. The public should also be aware of these hot spots.

“If you’re in those neighborhoods, if you’re working there or go there frequently, wear a mask because a spread in those highly vulnerable populated areas can have tremendous harm,” said Rath.

The dashboard is free.

“This is a time where the best minds have to come to the table to help humanity and we wanted to do our part to help communities respond to this crisis,” Rath added.

The map has been rolled out to 500 U.S. Cities. See it here.