The face of COVID deaths in Michigan is changing

As COVID fatalities surge across the state, statistics show the second wave is different from the first.

Since the beginning of December, the state has reported more than 1,000 new deaths from the coronavirus. It’s been 3.5 times that since September, eclipsing totals seen during the early days of the pandemic.

The autumn’s COVID-19 fatality data is different from the spring’s in other ways, too. An analysis by Bridge Michigan shows the coronavirus is killing more indiscriminately than during the first wave.

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Chief among the differences is the fact that COVID-19 is killing Black people at a lower rate than in March and April. That’s due to differences in where the virus is spreading. In the spring, the pandemic was almost entirely centered in Detroit and other heavily populated areas on the east side of the state. Those areas have a higher population of Black people and other minority groups.

That is not the case these days. The coronavirus can now be found in every county in the state without regard to ethnicity, economic status, or geography. In fact, counties in the Upper Peninsula were among the most affected in Michigan at several points during the past three months.

Besides ethnicity, the coronavirus seems to be killing more older people than in the spring. That may also be due to geographic differences – the populations of rural Michigan counties tend to be older than more densly populated, urban counties.

Nearly 3/4 of those killed by the coronavirus since November 1 were over the age of 70, while that age group represented about 2/3 of deaths prior to August.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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