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Jennifer Horney - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Jennifer Horney

Professor and Director, Epidemiology | University of Delaware


Jennifer Horney's research focuses on the health impacts of disasters and public health emergencies including climate change.




Jennifer Horney Publication Jennifer Horney Publication Jennifer Horney Publication







Jennifer Horney is Professor and Founding Director of the Program in Epidemiology and Core Faculty at the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on measuring the health impacts of disasters, as well as the linkages between disaster planning and household actions related to preparedness, response, and recovery. Dr. Horney received her Ph.D. and MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a member of a team of public health practitioners who responded to Hurricanes Isabel, Charley, Katrina, Wilma, Irene, and Harvey where she conducted rapid assessments of disaster impact on public health. She has also provided technical assistance to public health agencies globally around disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and pandemic influenza planning and response.

Industry Expertise (2)


Health and Wellness

Areas of Expertise (10)




Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response

Rapid Assessment

Applied Epidemiology

Outbreak Investigations

Disaster Epidemiology



Answers (1)

Is the new COVID variant, Pirola, cause for concern?

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The real concern will be the number of mutations on Pirola's spike protein and the recent approval of the boosters that target the current dominant variant, Omicron. We don’t know how effective that booster – which just became available after Sept. 12, 2023 – will be.

Media Appearances (7)

New Covid FLiRT variants spark concerns of a summer spike

CNBC  online


It currently seems unlikely that the new strains will cause a major wave of infections as seen in the past when public immunity was lower, said Jennifer Horney, professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware.

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Pandemic? What pandemic? Four years later, coronavirus no factor in 2024 Biden-Trump rematch

Palm Beach Post  print


Jennifer Horney, professor and director of UD's epidemiology program, added to the argument that more discussion should be taking place regarding the impact and outcomes of the pandemic. "It is pretty clear that we had a larger share of deaths in the U.S. than proportionally should have been expected," she said.

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6 people died by suicide in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Experts fear more.

Tampa Bay Times  online


Article quotes Jennifer Horney, epidemiology, who studies 281 natural disasters in the U.S. and found suicide rates leapt the highest two years post-disaster. “Recovery can be so long and arduous and expensive."

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Is It Time to Start Wearing a Mask Again?

Everyday Health  online


“With COVID-19 infections on the rise – concurrent with increased risk for infection with other cold weather respiratory viruses like influenza and RSV – many people may want to consider wearing a high-quality mask in crowded indoor spaces,” says Horney.

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Diseases suppressed during Covid are coming back in new and peculiar ways

CNBC  online


“Covid has raised the profile of public health matters so that we are perhaps paying more attention to these events when they occur,” said Horney, adding that public health systems set up to identify Covid have also helped diagnose other diseases.

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Confused By The CDC's New COVID Isolation Rules? Here's A Clear Guide.

Huffington Post  online


Tip: Wear a high-quality mask like a KN95 or N95. “The homemade 1-ply cotton mask is not going to cut it with omicron,” said Jennifer Horney, a disaster epidemiologist and founding director of the University of Delaware’s epidemiology program.

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Taiwan reports second-most COVID-19 weekly cases, deaths behind U.S.

UPI  online


"During the Covid pandemic, access to primary care, including childhood vaccinations, was unavailable to many children," Jennifer Horney, professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware, told CNBC.

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Articles (3)

Online Guidance for Domestic Violence Survivors and Service Providers: A COVID-19 Content Analysis

Violence Against Women

2023 To assess COVID-19 information and services available to domestic violence service providers, survivors, and racially and culturally specific communities in the U.S., a content analysis of 80 national and state/territorial coalition websites was performed in June 2020. COVID-19 information was available on 84% of websites. National organizations provided more information for survivors related to safety and mental health and for racially and culturally specific communities. State/territorial coalitions provided more information for providers on COVID-19 and general disaster preparedness. COVID-19 and social distancing measures implemented to control it diminished help-seeking in unique ways. Greater online access to information and resources may be needed to address changing needs of survivors during disasters and emergencies.

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Critical facility accessibility and road criticality assessment considering flood-induced partial failure

Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

2023 This paper examines communities’ accessibility to critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency medical services, and emergency shelters when facing flooding. We use travel speed reduction to account for flood-induced partial road failure. A modified betweenness centrality metric is also introduced to calculate the criticality of roads for connecting communities to critical facilities. The proposed model and metric are applied to the Delaware road network under 100-year floods. This model highlights the severe critical facility access loss risk due to flood isolation of facilities. The mapped post-flooding accessibility suggests a significant travel time increase to critical facilities and reveals disparities among communities, especially for vulnerable groups such as long-term care facility residents. We also identified critical roads that are vital for post-flooding access to critical facilities. The results of this research can help inform targeted infrastructure investment decisions and hazard mitigation strategies that contribute to equitable community resilience enhancement.

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Applying and Integrating Urban Contamination Factors into Community Garden Siting

Journal of Geovisualization and Spatial Analysis

2022 Local agricultural production provides opportunities for communities to cultivate resilience in local food supply systems, especially in urban areas underserved by supermarkets or other sources of fresh, affordable, healthy foods. While suitability analyses have traditionally been used to identify suitable locations for community-based food gardens, these models do not typically account for the potential for exposure to pollutants in urban settings, including contamination from industry, transportation infrastructure, or other sources. Using the city of Houston, Texas, as a case study, this paper describes a proposed suitability analysis for siting urban gardens that includes a pollution hazard index in addition to more typical criteria such as size, slope, and solar access. Geographical information systems spatial analyses were employed to determine if existing community gardens in Houston, Texas, are appropriately sited when a composite pollution hazard index score was added as a siting criteria. Results suggest a need to better optimize community garden siting to attenuate both disparate access to fresh produce and reduce risk of urban horticultural environmental exposure to contaminants in many areas.

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Education (1)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: PhD, Epidemiology 2009

Languages (1)

  • English