The study explores the influence of socio-economic variables on case and death rates of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany until mid-June 2020. It covers 401 counties by multivariate spatial models that can take into account regional interrelationships and possible spillover effects. The case and death rates are, for example, significantly positively associated with early cases from the beginning of the epidemic, the average age, the population density and the number of people employed in elderly care. By contrast, they are significantly negatively associated with the density of schoolchildren and infant care as well as the density of doctors. In addition, for individual variables significant spillover effects on the case numbers of neighbouring regions could be identified, which have a different sign than the overall effects and thus give cause for further analyses of the mechanisms of action of COVID-19 infections. The results complement the knowledge about COVID-19 infection beyond the clinical risk factors discussed so far by a socio-economic perspective. The findings can contribute to the targeted derivation of political measures and their review, as is currently being discussed in particular for the tourism and education sectors.
Collection : COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv