In nearly half a million American homes, washing hands to prevent COVID-19 isn’t as simple as soaping up and singing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing.
In many of those homes, people can’t even turn on a faucet. There’s no running water.
In 470,000 dwellings in the United States — spread across every state and in most counties — inadequate plumbing is a problem, the starkest of several challenges that make it tougher for people to avoid infection.
That’s according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of data from the Census Bureau and the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C. The analysis reveals other ways that inadequate housing in the United States puts people at risk during this pandemic. Nearly a million homes scattered across almost all counties don’t have complete kitchens, raising the risk of hunger and vulnerability to illness, even as people have been expected to eat all meals