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Auburn University researchers will begin a new study looking at how the pandemic is affecting poor communities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

An announcement from Auburn says the yearlong research will examine how leaders can get people in low-income, vulnerable communities to take collective action during a crisis.

Researcher Kelly Dunning says they will examine how science-based messages are received in such places compared to wealthier communities.

The work was proposed after noting Black people, Native Americans and other minorities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The study is funded by a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.