COVID-19 Kills Senior Citizens: Mortality Reporting from New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts

New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts represent the four states with the highest number of diagnosed cases of corona virus infection, 51% of all US diagnosed cases, and 57% of the deaths.

As a resident of Massachusetts, I’ve looked at the daily Massachusetts COVID-19 Reporting Dashboard and compared it to past Massachusetts death reports – the most recent being 2017. As we start to emerge out of the quarantine, comparisons to the other states show that the differences in reporting styles continue from state to state.

The Disease: Covid-19’s Impact

The disease is lethal to older member members of society. In Massachusetts #C19 will be the third leading cause of death in 2020 with a mortality rate of 70 per 100,000, and a rate of 1,009 for those 70 and older. The data from Illinois, New York and New Jersey show the same pattern. Each of the states also have special call outs for infections in assisted care facilities and nursing homes.

C19 gets into nursing homes and the elderly population and accelerates the rate of death significantly. This population will require special protection going forward.

The Style of Reports – Why are All the Age Brackets Different?

Ideally, these death reports would be summarized in the same way from state to state and also roll up to the CDC and Federal level in a consistent fashion. They don’t.

  • New Jersey uses different age brackets – closer to that of the CDC.
  • New York adds two age brackets that Illinois and Massachusetts don’t have – ages 0 – 9 and 80 – 89.
  • Illinois and New York have an ‘Unknown’ age bracket. Is that really possible? Is it really just ‘Not yet fully known with precision’? If we’re putting the deceased into 10 year age brackets, can an estimate be made?
  • Illinois has the only branded approach to C19, with their “Restore Illinois.”

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