Monday Jan 17, 2022

15 U.S. Cities Where Residents Are Unable to Quarantine

Woman shocked by health care bill

15 U.S. Cities Where Residents Are Unable to Quarantine

Information about 15 U.S. Cities Where Residents Are Unable to Quarantine

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Woman shocked by health care bill
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Smartest Dollar.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Americans to reassess their living arrangements, work situations, how they travel, and how they spend their free time. It has also impacted how they manage at home when faced with a COVID-19 infection or exposure in order to keep others safe.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people infected with COVID-19 self-isolate at home and stay in a specific “sick room” and use a separate bathroom from other residents if possible. However, many American households do not have enough rooms or amenities to quarantine effectively.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is estimated that at least 11.5 million households, or 13.1% of multi-person households, are unable to effectively quarantine due to not having enough bedrooms, a full kitchen, or complete plumbing in their homes.

To find the metropolitan areas where residents are unable to quarantine, researchers at Smartest Dollar analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked metro areas according to the percentage of multi-person households without the space or facilities needed to effectively quarantine an individual.

For the purpose of this analysis, this means having complete plumbing, a full kitchen, and enough bedrooms to isolate an individual without forcing the remaining household members to sleep with more than two people in a bedroom. Researchers also included the percentage of the population that is not non-Hispanic White in each location and the poverty rate.

Here are the metros where residents lack the space or facilities needed to quarantine.

15. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 14.2%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 40,004
  • Minority population share: 48.9%
  • Poverty rate: 13.8%

14. Austin-Round Rock, TX

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Austin Urton / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 14.2%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 85,951
  • Minority population share: 48.4%
  • Poverty rate: 10.1%

13. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Portland, Oregon waterfront
Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 14.3%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 100,425
  • Minority population share: 27.7%
  • Poverty rate: 9.6%

12. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio at night.
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 14.6%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 85,677
  • Minority population share: 66.8%
  • Poverty rate: 13.5%

11. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA

Sacramento, California
Ed Gavryush / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 15.0%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 95,005
  • Minority population share: 48.7%
  • Poverty rate: 11.9%

10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 15.5%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 174,215
  • Minority population share: 38.3%
  • Poverty rate: 7.8%

9. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Aneese / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 15.8%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 305,147
  • Minority population share: 55.1%
  • Poverty rate: 10.5%

8. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA

Riverside California neighborhood
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 17.1%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 188,528
  • Minority population share: 69.3%
  • Poverty rate: 12.2%

7. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Houston, Texas skyline
Silvio Ligutti / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 17.6%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 321,384
  • Minority population share: 64.9%
  • Poverty rate: 12.9%

6. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

thunderstorm lightning in Miami, Florida
gary718 / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 18.5%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 290,188
  • Minority population share: 70.5%
  • Poverty rate: 13.5%

5. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

The skyline of San Diego, where median rent is well below median mortgage payments
Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 20.4%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 175,245
  • Minority population share: 55.2%
  • Poverty rate: 10.3%

4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

The skyline of San Jose, which has a lower median rent than median mortgage payment
stellamc / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 22.5%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 114,398
  • Minority population share: 69.5%
  • Poverty rate: 6.3%

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 23.8%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 295,921
  • Minority population share: 61.4%
  • Poverty rate: 8.2%

2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

New York City
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 24.7%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 1,294,365
  • Minority population share: 54.9%
  • Poverty rate: 11.6%

1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Los Angeles
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Percentage of households unable to quarantine: 30.3%
  • Total households unable to quarantine: 998,017
  • Minority population share: 70.8%
  • Poverty rate: 12.4%

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

To find the metropolitan areas where residents are unable to quarantine, researchers at Smartest Dollar analyzed the data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample and the 2019 American Community Survey.

The researchers ranked metro areas according to the percentage of multi-person households unable to quarantine. For the purpose of this analysis, this means having complete plumbing, a full kitchen, and enough bedrooms to isolate an individual without forcing the remaining household members to sleep with more than two people in a bedroom.

In the event of a tie, the metro with the larger percentage of households without a full kitchen or complete plumbing was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the total number of multi-person households unable to quarantine and the poverty rate.

It’s important to note that ideally this study would have also considered the number of bathrooms available, such that the quarantined individual would not only use their own bedroom but their own bathroom too.

The Census Bureau, unfortunately, does not collect this data at the household level. As such the estimates presented in this analysis are likely underestimates based on the CDCs recommendation that a quarantined individual should use a separate bathroom if possible.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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