Va. COVID-19 cases are higher among men and those 50+
Virginia confirmed 460 cases and 14 deaths as of Thursday, March 26.
More than half of Virginia’s 460 confirmed COVID-19 cases are among men and people older than age 50, according to demographic information released Thursday by the Virginia Department of Health about the Virginians who are known to have contracted the novel coronavirus so far.
Men have contracted the virus at a slightly higher rate, making up more than 52% of the known cases in Virginia. And 52.3% of the cases, or 240, are among people ages 50 and above.
VDH has not released similar demographic information about the 14 Virginians who have been killed by the virus, but according to the information released by local health districts, these have occurred among patients ages 60 and older, reflecting worldwide trends that show that elderly people are more vulnerable to the virus.
Due to a dearth of available COVID-19 test kits, state health officials and medical professionals have limited much of the testing to those in respiratory distress or showing more severe symptoms of the disease, so the data may not provide a clear picture of the extent of the spread of the virus in Virginia, as many people may only exhibit mild or moderate symptoms that don’t meet the threshold for testing.
Racial data is missing for more than 60% of Virginia’s confirmed cases, but according to data provided to VDH, 121 cases have occurred among white Virginians, 32 among black or African American Virginians and 27 among other racial groups.
Children ages 0 to 19 make up 2.4%, or 13, of Virginia’s COVID-19 cases, while 15.9%, or 73 cases, have occurred among people in their 20s. People in their 30s account for 14.6% of cases, or 67, and 15%, or 69 cases, are among those in their 40s. Cases among people in their 50s and 60s accounted for 18.3% for each age group, or a total of 168 cases. People ages 70 to 79 made up 10.9%, or 50 cases, and people ages 80 and older account for 4.8%, or 22 cases.
VDH also released statewide statistics Thursday reporting the number of cases by the day patients began exhibiting symptoms or were reported to state health officials. The peak occurred on March 16-17, when 113 people became ill over a two-day period. The numbers are lower from March 18-24, but VDH cautions that more recent cases may not yet have been reported, so the numbers may change.
The Virginia localities with the highest number of COVID-19 cases have remained the same in recent days, although the numbers have grown: Fairfax County has 79 patients, Arlington County with 54 and James City County with 49.
Also, Thursday afternoon, the Richmond Police Department announced that two officers have tested positive. The first case, announced Monday, was a female officer in her 40s, and today’s case is a man in his 40s from the same precinct. Other officers are now in self-quarantine as a precaution, the police said.