COVID-19 Neighborhood Profiles: Digital Divide in East LA

These neighborhood profiles highlight the intersections of COVID-19 and other social and economic indicators in specific neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. They are a feature of the NDSC COVID-19 Dashboard.
As schools closed under the “Safer at Home” order in the Spring of 2020, students were forced to resume their schooling remotely online. However, computer and/or internet access differs widely across communities in LA County.
East Los Angeles is an unincorporated neighborhood in the Eastside region of Los Angeles County. As of June 31, 2020 East LA had the third highest cases of COVID-19 (2507) and 7th highest deaths (59) in the LA County.  Although over 26% of East LA's total population (117,348) is under the age of 18, over 22% of households in the neighborhood have no access to a computer – more than double the county average of 10%. Similarly, 36% of households in East LA do not have access to internet in their homes compared to the county average of 18%. The challenges presented by lack of internet and computer access for East LA families during COVID school closures are likely further complicated by the fact that nearly 25% of the households in the neighborhood have limited English proficiency. 
The chart belowshows computer/internet access and English proficiency for East LA and LA County. Select your neighborhood from the menu to add it to the chart. 
The impact of school closures on student proficiency and educational attainment is yet to be determined. However, amid uncertainty as to when schools will reopen, school districts must address the digital divide in certain communities in order to ensure continued, quality education for vulnerable students who may face challenges to learning at home. 
Molly Creighton
Molly Creighton is a Master’s Student in the Public Policy Program at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Currently, she is a data researcher at the Price Center for Social Innovation where she collects, analyzes and disseminates LA neighborhood-level data through data stories to community partners through the Neighborhood Data for Social Change (NDSC). She has also worked on jail reform initiatives in Alameda County, implementing a women’s health program within the county Jail. Her policy interests include sustainability, social justice and the intersection of mental health and incarceration.