Maps show ZIP codes with highest percentage of people at risk of severe complications from COVID-19

By Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What ZIP codes throughout Wisconsin have the highest proportion of adults at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19? Where should public health departments allocate the most resources? What areas should be monitored the most closely?

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have pulled together information to help answer those questions.

The researchers drew from electronic health records to identify ZIP codes throughout the state that have higher percentages of adults who are older or who have medical conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, that put them at greater risk if infected by the coronavirus.

“We found substantial variation across communities in the proportion of people who had these risk factors for severe complications,” said Maureen Smith, a physician and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “That finding suggests that matching community with the right resources needs to take into account that communities are different.”

The information — pulled together when the crisis first hit the state — could be even more important in the coming months as businesses reopen and more people venture from their homes. Read more …