I’m slightly hesitant to read too much into the state’s weekly analysis of COVID-19 because testing is still not widespread. There’s a real risk of garbage- in-garbage-out because data about who has the disease isn’t comprehensive.

Keeping that proviso in mind, here’s some conclusions from the second weekly analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, through April 20:

  • It affects more women (54%) than men (46%).
  • It affects more Latinos (6.1% of cases vs. 3.9% of state population) and blacks (5.4% of cases vs. 1.4% of population, a huge difference) – but not Asians (3.2% of cases vs. 3.0% of population). Asians are, on average, the wealthiest of the state’s minority groups.
  • It’s most common found in people aged 50-59 (21% of total) out of all the decade age groups but when adjusted by population size, prevalence is roughly the same for people in their 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The rate per 100,000 people is much lower for teenagers and below (virtually non-existent in the single digits) and much higher for people 80 and above, which may reflect nursing home outbreaks.
  • The way that people get infected is all over the place. Very roughly a quarter get it by “community transmission” (e.g., somebody coughed on them at Market Basket), a quarter from travel outside the state, a quarter by contact with an infected person, and a quarter as part of a “cluster” such as a group of cases at a nursing home.

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