Welcome to the 2021 Culture of Data Conference!
April 8-9, 2021
Colorado Public Health Association
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Thursday, April 8 • 1:00pm - 2:15pm
A1 Breakout Session: What We Can Learn from COVID Data About Colorado Communities

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This session includes two presentations showcasing what COVID data can tell us about Colorado communities.
  • Presentation 1: Distancing, Disease, Data, and Disparity: What the Social Distancing Index Reveals About Inequity in Colorado (Jasmine Bains; Colorado Health Institute)
  • Presentation 2: Beyond COVID-19 Incidence Rates: Measuring the Impact of Covid-19 on Communities (Gabriela Reyes, Robyn Harte, Adam Anderson; Tri-County Health Department)


Full presentation descriptions:
Distancing, Disease, Data, and Disparity: What the Social Distancing Index Reveals About Inequity in Colorado
Social distancing, such as avoiding crowds and maintaining a six-foot distance from others, is strongly recommended by public health officials to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.    

But social distancing is harder to practice for people who live some neighborhoods and towns than others. Conditions such as high rates of crowded housing or low-wage, hands-on work make it easier for viruses to spread. For example, despite the wide-open spaces on the Eastern Plains, people living in these rural communities have crowded living quarters and higher rates of jobs that require workers to be physically present. Census tracts where more people of color live and those where incomes are lower than average also have higher rates of conditions that are not favorable to social distancing.    

This presentation will explore how the Colorado Health Institute used American Community Survey five-year estimates, including measures of overcrowded homes, population density, and working in an essential job, to illuminate social inequities that impact Coloradans. These data were used to build a Social Distancing Index to pinpoint areas of the state where residents are likely to have a harder time following public health advice to avoid interacting with others. The index is displayed as an interactive mapping feature for users.     

Session attendees will benefit from this presentation by learning how data can be used to identify areas of social inequity. They will also learn how indices like the Social Distancing Index can be useful as state and local leaders prepare for the next phase of their campaign against COVID-19 and future public health efforts.   

Beyond COVID-19 Incidence Rates: Measuring the Impact of Covid-19 on Communities
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has unveiled disparities infection rates, hospitalizations, and death across communities in the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) jurisdiction (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties). In addition to the health effects, there have been significant disparities in the economic and educational consequences of COVID-19. TCHD assessed indicators around the COVID-19 health, economic, and educational outcomes at the neighborhood level to begin to describe the disparities in communities that have been disproportionately impacted.    

TCHD uses COVID-19 case investigation data, along with multiple datasets (including census, labor statistics, education statistics) to describe community characteristics, demographics, and geographic factors. TCHD compiles these data within GIS, and using a decile classification, identifies the census tracts with the highest 10% COVID-19 incidence rates and the lowest 10% COVID-19 incidence rates. TCHD compares community attributes between the identified census tracts to compare and contrast neighborhoods that have suffered a disproportionate burden of these impacts to those neighborhoods that have been least impacted.   

avatar for Adam Anderson

Adam Anderson

Tri-County Health Department
Mr. Anderson is currently a Population Health Epidemiologist at Tri-County Health Department. He specializes in understanding and measuring how communities, cultures, and the physical environment we live in can influence health outcomes and behaviors. Previous to Tri-County Health... Read More →
avatar for Gabriela Reyes

Gabriela Reyes

Data Science/Epidemiologist, Tri-County Health Department
Gabriela Reyes, MPH is a Population Health Epidemiologist at Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). She specializes in data collection and visualization focused on identifying populations in need to assist with programs internally and externally. She interprets population data using... Read More →

Robyn Harte

Tri-County Health Department
avatar for Jasmine Bains

Jasmine Bains

Research Analyst, Colorado Health Institute
Jasmine Bains joined the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) in July 2019 as a research analyst. At CHI, she specializes in program evaluation, data analysis and visualization, and supporting the Metro Denver Partnership for Health cross-sector collaborative. Her most recent work includes... Read More →

avatar for Sarah


CEO, Trailhead Institute
Trailhead is a public health institute that serves as a basecamp for Colorado’s public health sector, working with and for all Coloradans through their communities and networks. Because health begins where we live, work, learn and play, Trailhead provides partnership and administrative... Read More →

Thursday April 8, 2021 1:00pm - 2:15pm MDT