COVID-19 has been a leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, particularly for people over age 35, according to a new report published in JAMA. As of Dec. 21, over 320,000 people in the country have died after contracting SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Tempo calculated each state’s total number of COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of the outbreak in the U.S. to determine the states where deaths per capita are the highest.
Deaths per capita in more than half of U.S. states were higher during the week ending on Dec. 20 than during the week prior. California had the largest increase, with an average of 73 more deaths per 100,000 residents dying from COVID-19 a day in the week ending on Dec. 20 than the previous week.
Adults over age 45 are more likely to die from COVID-19 than fatal car accidents, respiratory diseases, drug overdoses, suicide, and murder. And those over age 55 face even higher rates of dying due to the coronavirus.
More than 3,300 deaths were reported nationwide on Dec. 16, marking an all-time high. The sad record comes at the beginning of the biggest vaccination effort in U.S. history. Though millions of Americans will likely get one of the currently two approved COVID-19 vaccines in the next few months, the shots won’t be administered in time to prevent a likely increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths this winter.
Only a dozen states reported fewer daily new COVID-19 cases per capita in the most recent week compared to the week before. These are the states where the coronavirus spread is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).