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Audrey Dorélien, University of Minnesota

Racial/Ethnic Differences in US Social Contact Patterns and Implications for COVID-19
When Nov 21, 2022
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where In Person - 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

COVID-19 has devastated Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous communities in the United States. These disparities are primarily driven by unequal infection risk. Since COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through close person-to-person contact, it is important to study how and why interpersonal contacts vary by race and ethnicity. We analyze racial/ethnic differences in duration of social contacts (risk factor for covid exposure) between 2019 and 2020 using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data. Since the riskiness of contact varies by location, we  analyzed to what extent differences are driven by variation in household, workplace, and community contacts. We find that differences in workplace exposures are driving racial disparities in social contacts. Racial/ethnic differences are not driven by differences in occupation. In 2020, Black and Hispanic respondents had longer duration of social contacts at work compared to White respondents and these differences did not disappear after controlling for a host of factors including occupation. Lower rates of social contact at home for Black respondents are not protective. The higher occupational exposures of Black and Hispanic respondents may result in higher per contact risk of COVD transmission at home. Differences in duration of social contacts in public “indoor” locations were not very large; however, duration of public social contacts dropped the most for school-aged Black respondents in 2020.

About the Speaker

Audrey Dorélien is an Assistant Professor in the global policy and the social policy & policy analysis areas. at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota (UMN). At UMN, she is also a faculty affiliate in the Applied Economics Department, the School of Public Health, and the Minnesota Population Center, where she currently serves as the Co-Director of the Population Training Program.

Professor Dorélien's research agenda strives to elucidate how human population dynamics and behavior intersect with environmental conditions to affect health. Her work describes demographic and health patterns and attempts to identify causal factors responsible for these patterns. The first strand of her research focuses on the effects of early life exposures (i.e., disease/nutrition/climate) on health both in the United States and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, she analyzes how human behavior and population dynamics affect the spread and severity of infectious diseases. Third, Professor Dorélien has conducted research on spatial demography/ urbanization with a focus on health and climate change vulnerability. Her research has appeared in Population Development Review, Demography, Population Health Metrics, Biodemography and Social Biology, Demographic Research, and PLoS ONE.

Location IN PERSON: 1101 Morrill Hall.  We are requesting advanced registration so that we can track capacity.  Please use this link to RSVP.

Location ONLINE VIA ZOOM: Hybrid Zoom Link to Register. Upon registration you will receive an automatically generated email with the direct link for the seminar.

COVID-19 Information

MPRC public events for Spring 2022 will be a mix of in person and online via Zoom.  For in person events, all event attendees must follow current protocols

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