Gas station without pumps

2021 March 24

Santa Cruz County hits 200 Covid deaths

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:04

A while back, I posted about the Santa Cruz County Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard.  Yesterday, 2021 March 23, the county hit 200 COVID-19 deaths, so I thought I would update the post.  We have been doing a little better in the nursing homes—now only 51% of the deaths are there (102/200) instead of 66% (79/120). The four big outbreaks are the same, with a couple more deaths at Watsonville Post Acute, and on more at Hearts and Hands, but Sunshine Villa is close behind with 7 deaths and many of the other nursing homes now have 1–4 deaths.  Statewide, the fraction of deaths from nursing homes is about 23% (down from 33%), so we are still way overloaded with nursing-home deaths.  Or, more cheerfully, we’ve been better about keeping down deaths outside the nursing homes.

As before, most of our positive tests are in young adults, but most of the deaths are in older adults—the case fatality rate starts going up somewhere in the 60s and really soars in the 80s and 90s:

age range cases deaths case fatality rate
0–9 1085 0 0%
10–19 1865 0 0%
20–29 3122 0 0%
30–39 2649 4 0.15%
40–49 2232 6 0.27%
50–59 1878 5 0.27%
60–69 1269 27 2.13%
70–79 611 42 6.87%
80–89 339 61 17.99%
90+ 195 55 28.21%

The case fatality rate is very slightly higher in each age category, which may be due to the California strain that circulated in January and February being a bit more deadly.

I’ve been looking at the lagged case fatality rate (dividing the number of deaths by the number of cases 2, 3, or 4 weeks earlier) on  The 4-week lag seems to give the most constant case rate, but even it shows a pretty big increase in California in the last month—the cases now seem to be more deadly.

Although the case rate still indicates that more Latinx people are getting infected than their share of the population (55.98% of the cases are Latinx vs. 33.49% of the population),  the death rates match the population statistics (35.5% of the deaths are of Latinx people).  Most of the old people in the county are white, and age is a much stronger predictor of who will die than race is.

I can’t check the number of hospital beds, because the state moved the page and the county has not updated the link.  The forwarding link provided on the state page goes to Alameda County, not Santa Cruz County, and I don’t see how to fix that.  From the information that is available, we seem to have hit peak usage around January 16, with about 85 hospitalized, and we are now down to around 5 hospitalized—so we’re pretty much out of this spike.  Let’s hope that a large enough fraction of the population is vaccinated before we get hit with another spike.

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