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In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, some U.S. leaders and pundits pointed to hard-hit cities such as New York, Milan and Wuhan as proof that population density was to blame for coronavirus hotspots. But simple density has not adequately predicted the disease’s course in the U.S., where the new coronavirus has spread well beyond urban areas to ravage rural communities and suburbs during the country’s long summer.
Many public health and urban planning researchers agree that the concentration of people within a certain area does not tell the whole story. Crowding, connections among communities and other factors seem to better explain infection and mortality rates