Bay Area, California, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Emergency and Disaster Management, Geographical Information Systems, GIS Health Policy, Human Geography, Monterey Bay, Resource Management, Respiratory Diseases, Seniors, Social Welfare, Spatial Science, Tri-County Region

Document Type

Main Theme / Tema Central


This paper assesses the vulnerability of seniors residing in the Monterey Bay Tri-County Region to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to weakened immune systems, seniors are the most at-risk members of our community to COVID-19, and have a death rate that is three times higher than the overall death rate to COVID-19. Using standard ambulance response times from each hospital throughout the area, our objective is to determine what proportion of Tri-County seniors aged 65 and over, including those who are in nursing homes, are living independently, and cannot afford health care, were within an adequate travel time to the hospital. Additionally, we want to know which county is the most underprepared for a potential COVID-19 surge among its senior population. Using ArcGIS Online and Desktop, we addressed our research question by performing drive-time analysis on all Tri-County hospitals, determining the proportion of seniors and nursing homes that were within or outside the drive-time areas. We then compared the results to the number of active COVID-19 cases in each county. Our findings indicate that Monterey County had the most seniors and nursing homes completely outside of the hospital service zones, as well as the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Additionally, Santa Cruz County had the most seniors without health insurance living outside of the service zones, a figure that seems to agree logically with the astronomical cost of living in the area. We conclude that while Monterey County is by far the most at-risk, underprepared, and in need of resources, Santa Cruz could also have a potential problem with large proportions of uninsured (and homeless) seniors who are unable to access desperately needed medical attention.

Link to ArcGIS Online Story Map by Ethan Quaranta and Gerhard Gross.pdf (45 kB)
Link to ArcGIS Online story map is pasted in the description box and is also uploded in a PDF page. Link: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/eddb6c18244a4949bd647a477c05e03e



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