A revised map shows an area along the Delaware River in northern Delaware has the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases.
The zip code map appears to show the hotspot is located in the Route 9 corridor, which has a number of lower-income neighborhoods and industrial sites in an area south of Wilmington.
Officials here and elsewhere have become increasingly concerned that communities of color with high poverty rates have been disproportionately affected by the spread of the virus.
It is also believed that many residents in such areas work in jobs with an increased risk of exposure.
Even in better times, the Route 9 area has struggled with a higher percentage of the population living with health risks such as heart disease, asthma, obesity, and diabetes. People suffering such conditions have a greater chance of suffering from serious cases of coronavirus.
The Route 9 corridor has been targeted for investment with New Castle County building a new library. Work is also continuing on improving the area’s access to financial services after the corridor was described as a “banking desert.”
The map has been released by the Delaware Division of Public Health to illustrate the spread of COVID-19 into every corner of Delaware.
Zipcodes in a large area that stretches from Newark into Bear-Glasgow to Middletown also show a higher incidence of cases. Not surprisingly, higher rates are found in population centers – Wilmington, Dover, Milford and portions of Coastal Sussex County.
Not included are a few lightly populated zip codes for privacy reasons.
Delaware lists the number of coronavirus cases by county, but not by the municipality or specific zip code. State health officials continue to look for ways to let the public know about the prevalence of the virus while navigating around the state’s more restrictive privacy laws and the federal HIPA act.
Organizations can report instances of coronavirus exposure, but the state has not done so in regard to individual employers.
For example, the City of Wilmington has disclosed that ten city employees have tested positive for COVID 19, with dozens of others in isolation.
Individual cases of coronavirus are not always posted by employers, although their representatives typically confirm the information as a way to tamp down rumors.
(See the downloadable map below).