Geographic disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths: The role of transportation

Darrell J. Gaskin, Hossein Zare, Benjo A. Delarmente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The US government imposed two travel restriction policies to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 but may have funneled asymptomatic air travelers to selected major airports and transportation hubs. Using the most recent JHU COVID-19 database, American Community Survey, Airport and Amtrak data form Bureau of Transportation Statistics from 3132 US counties we ran negative binomial regressions and Cox regression models to explore the associations between COVID-19 cases and death rates and proximity to airports, train stations, and public transportation. Counties within 25 miles of an airport had 1.392 times the rate of COVID-19 cases and 1.545 times the rate of COVID-19 deaths in comparison to counties that are more than 50 miles from an airport. More effective policies to detect and isolate infected travelers are needed. Policymakers and officials in transportation and public health should collaborate to promulgate policies and procedures to protect travelers and transportation workers from COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-46
Number of pages12
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Airports
  • COVID-19 cases
  • COVID-19 deaths
  • Geographic disparities
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'Geographic disparities in COVID-19 infections and deaths: The role of transportation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this