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Studies have begun to indicate that environmental context may influence the severity of COVID-19. Jonah Lipsitt and his colleagues are investigating how chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide (NO2), may increase the risk of death for those who have tested positive for the disease. While many studies in the United States are conducted at the county level, he is using geographic information systems (GIS) to investigate case-fatality at the small-area neighborhood level, as well as in nursing homes, in Los Angeles County. His research has also quantified recent improvements in Los Angeles’ air quality due to the impacts of ‘shelter-in-place’. These spatiotemporal analyses may aid in discussing environmental health in the context of the current pandemic.

About the speaker

Jonah Lipsitt is a doctoral candidate in Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He received his Bachelors in Geography from Berkeley in 2010 and his Masters in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2015. His research focuses on geographic information systems (GIS) methodology and its application to the fields of environmental health and environmental science, including on topics of: climate change, air pollution, physical activity, and the built environment.

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