Where’s the Worst State to Catch COVID-19?

Edited by Fred Haiman

The coronavirus pandemic is a danger to everyone. Regardless of age or health, you can become very sick — and possibly even die. However, the overwhelming percentage of fatalities attributed to COVID-19 involve older people.

Adults 65 and older account for just 16% of the U.S. population, but they comprise 80% of deaths tied to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Money Talks News’ recent article entitled “10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most” reports that the percentage of victims who are age 65 or older differs from state to state, however.

With provisional statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as of July 22 (for the week ending July 11), the Kaiser Family Foundation found that these are the worst states for COVID-19 deaths for people age 65:

  • Idaho: 94%
  • New Hampshire: 92%
  • Massachusetts: 90%
  • West Virginia: 90%
  • Rhode Island: 90%
  • Minnesota: 89%
  • Connecticut: 89%
  • Pennsylvania: 87%
  • Indiana: 86%
  • Ohio: 86%

On the other end of the spectrum, here are the states the smallest percentage of the COVID-19 fatalities for people age 65:

  • The District of Columbia: 70%
  • Texas: 70%
  • New Mexico: 71%
  • Arkansas: 71%
  • Mississippi: 74%
  • Nebraska: 74%
  • Arizona: 74%

Several states were excluded from the analysis, because of data discrepancies (including Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming).

There’s a factor that appears to tie together the states that have been especially dangerous for older residents. The states that have reported a larger share of adults 65 and older who’ve died of COVID-19 tend to be those states that have had a disproportionate number of deaths in long-term care facilities. More than 40% of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have been linked to nursing homes.

The older you are, the greater the risk, wherever you live. Kaiser says 33% of the people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. have been age 85 or older.

Reference: Money Talks News (August 1, 2020) “10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most”