Covid impact in Michigan now is largest among those under 40, including youths

April 20, 2021, 6:24 AM by  Alan Stamm

People in their 20s account for the largest share of new Covid cases in Michigan during the past month, a new statistical breakdown shows.

With nearly 29,000 confirmed and probable diagnoses between March 16 and April 13, residents aged 20-29 represent 19.3% of coronavirus cases during that span -- the highest percentage among nine age categories on a University of Michigan dashboard launched last week, though under 14% of Michiganians are in their 20s.

The second-largest share of new virus infections from mid-March to mid-April are residents aged 10-19, with 17.2% of reported cases (25,935) during the four weeks analyzed. That's also disproportionate, as the group's population share is under 13%. Young people below 16 aren't eligible for vaccines, still being tested for adolescents.

The third most-infected bunch of Michiganians now are in their 30s, according to a U-M team's look at information from the health department's Michigan Disease Data Surveillance System. That category, which comprises 12% of the state population, has 16.3% of its spring Covid cases (24,472).  

♦ Detroiters now can get unscheduled Covid shots at any city clinic

Relatively few members of the hardest-hit age groups need hospital care or become fatally ill, in sharp contrast to those over age 60.  

Older Michiganians were among the first eligible for vaccination early this year after healthcare workers, which likely explains their lower rates of new cases.  

These six Detroit college students got TCF Center vaccines two weeks ago. (Photo: Instagram/College for Creative Studies)

Below are figures for each category from March 16 to April 13, when Michigan recorded 150,027 new cases, 540 Covid deaths and 2,454 coronavirus-related hospitizations of varied lengths: 

Age 0-9: 8,706 cases (5.8%), 36 hospitalized (1.4%), no deaths
10-19: 25,935 cases (17.2%), 53 hospitalized (2.1%), 4 deaths (0.7%) 
20-29: 28,971 cases (19.3%), 162 hospitalized (6.6%), 14 deaths (2.5%)
30-39: 24,472 cases (16.3%), 235 hospitalized (9.5%), 22 deaths (4%)
40-49:  22,371 cases (14.9%), 294 hospitalized (11.9%), 36 deaths (6.6%) 
50-59: 21,157 cases  (14.1%), 419 hospitalized (17%), 57 deaths (10.5%) 
60-69: 12,075 cases (8%), 520 hospitalized (21.1%), 115 deaths (21.2%)
70-79: 4,352 (2.9%), 424 hospitalized (17.2%), 129 deaths (23.8%)
80 and over: 1,988 (1.3%), 311 hospitalized (12.6%), 163 deaths (30.1%)
[Figures are for confirmed and probable cases, and include state prison populations]  

The week-old dashboard, created with a Rockefeller Foundation grant, will expand to track vaccination and health disparities information. It's set up by teams from U-M's School of Public Health and School of Information.

Detailed metrics are displayed for eight regions and by race, ethnicity and gender. Tables can be viewed as cumulative figures since March 1, 2020 or for the previous 28 days. 

Associate Professor Marisa Eisenberg, a mathematical epidemiologist who's the project leader, says in a release:

"We hope this dashboard will help identify trends early and allow our community members to see what's happening in their own regions. It is important for Michigan residents to see how different groups are being affected by the pandemic so as a community we can help support those who need it the most."

The regularly updated compilations also are intended "to help public health officials make informed decisions regarding the pandemic," the university says. It quotes Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the epidemiology and population health at the state health department:

"In addition to illustrating a more nuanced view of Covid-19 spread and severity trends in each region, this case and death disparity data provides additional context for the department's ongoing public health mitigation efforts, including equitable testing, contact tracing and vaccination strategies."

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