Eastern Michigan University professors seek to explain the disparity in COVID-19 cases around Washtenaw County

Research regarding residents of certain strongly affected zip codes funded by GameAbove Faculty First funds

Illustration of a microscopic view of the virus.

YPSILANTI – Two Eastern Michigan University professors are seeking answers as to why certain areas of Washtenaw County have suffered more COVID-19 cases than others.

Grigoris Argeros, an associate professor of sociology, and Natalie Dove, associate professor of psychology, have done some revealing and noteworthy research regarding area COVID-19 data.

The two found that more than one third of Washtenaw County’s 3,412 COVID-19 cases as of Oct. 1 came from two ZIP codes — 48197 and 48198 — which cover Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and portions of Superior, Augusta, York and Pittsfield townships.

Professor Argeros and Professor Dove note that those two ZIP codes vary by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status relative to the rest of Washtenaw County.

Research funded by GameAbove to focus on specific residences

They now plan to move forward with a second round of the project, collecting data from residents of these two ZIP Codes in order to assess some of the demographic, structural, and psychological variables that might make a difference in responses to COVID-19.

The second part of the project is supported by the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Professional Development Award, funded by the GameAbove Faculty First funds.

GameAbove is a group of EMU alumni that is supporting a wide variety of initiatives on and off-campus and is helping EMU fulfill its core mission of inclusion, quality applied research, community engagement and growth. 

“I’m appreciative and grateful for GameAbove’s funding for the project, as well as for their continuous and unwavering support for the EMU community,” Argeros said.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

October 28, 2020

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom