Alarming new data shows demographic of recent COVID-19 deaths

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 11:40 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After more than 30 deaths from COVID-19 in one week in New Hanover County, county leaders want people to realize that this virus does not recognize race or age.

New data shows the demographic breakdown of these recent COVID-19 deaths.

New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield is calling this new data alarming.

“When you look at the age range — some of those folks were in my age range, I’m in the mid-50s. Recognizing COVID has no respect of anyone. No matter what your age is, race is, your location, your zip code; the fact is that if it can get inside your body, it’s gonna take you down one way or another. And it’s amazing, there’s no rhyme or reason, some people get COVID and they fare well, but others end up on a ventilator and they pass away,” Barfield said.

When you look at the breakdown of the recent 45 virus victims, 37 were white, 5 were Black, and 3 were Hispanic.

While the Delta variant is affecting the younger population across the country, the average age of these new deaths was 65 with the youngest person just 30 years old, and the oldest, 93 years old.

“It just reinforces the fact that, yes, COVID is real and, yes, COVID is serious,” said New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner. “Which is why it’s so important to protect ourselves with the vaccination and with masking.”

Health officials are hoping these tragic deaths send a sobering message.

“I think the message is that COVID is serious. The measures that we have put in place like with our mask rule, are put in place to protect us so that these numbers don’t keep climbing,” Turner said.

“You still have quite a few people that don’t want to wear masks and are not wearing masks and then you have the population that does not believe in the efficacy of getting the shot as well,” Barfield said, recognizing that mask mandates and vaccines are only effective if people understand their importance.

Health officials are working hard to protect everyone: “We are just going to continue to do whatever we need to do to educate the public. We make the vaccine very accessible for people,” Turner said.

Information regarding vaccination status was not given with the demographic data that was released.

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