The number of new COVID-19 cases and new hospitalizations in New Hampshire continues to decline, but the disease is still taking an outsized toll on certain groups: people in nursing homes, Blacks and Latinos, and men. You can find the data for this and more on the state’s COVID-19 “dashboard” at https://www.nh.gov/covid19/dashboard/summary.htm. Note that this pattern is seen pretty much everywhere, as the NY Times reported here.
Long-term care facilities:
About 81% of all deaths related to the coronavirus in New Hampshire so far – 311 out of 382 – have been residents of long-term care facilities.
Continued outbreaks of COVID-19 in group facilities among elderly people, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease, helps explain why the number of deaths has not declined despite a crop in new cases and hospitalizations. State data says 43 people have died of the disease over the past two weeks, a death rate that has not changed since the third week of June.
By contrast, the two-week average of new cases has declined to 29, its lowest ever, and only 1.1 people per day are being sent to the hospital, also the lowest since the pandemic began.
Ethnic and racial minorities:
The state’s Blacks and Latinos have been getting COVID-19 and getting hospitalized with it at much higher rates than whites, although their death rate is no worse than whites.
Latinos and Hispanics make up 3.9% of New Hampshire’s population but have been 11.2% of all COVID-19 cases and 10.6% of hospitalizations – fully one out of every nine in the state. However, they have been only 3.1% of all deaths, probably because this group is much younger on average than whites and thus less likely to succumb to the coronavirus.
Similarly, Blacks make up 1.4% of the state’s population and have gotten sick at four times that rate – they are 6.1% of cases and 5.1% of hospitalizations. Yet Blacks have only seen 7 deaths, just 2.2% of the total. Blacks are also much younger on average than whites in New Hampshire.
Asians, which includes people with ties to the Indian subcontinent as well as China, East Asia and Southeast Asia, are affected at the same rate as whites but have not seen the same toll in deaths, again probably because they are younger on average. Asians make up 3% of the state and the same percentage of cases and hospitalizations, but less than 1% of deaths. Only 3 people of Asian ethnicity have died of the coronavirus.
By gender, women continue to get the disease much more often than men – 57% vs. 43% – which may partly reflect gender ratios among health care workers, who are exposed to the virus more often. Men, however, are more susceptible to the virus once they get it: 57% of hospitalizations are male.
Deaths are almost exactly divided 50-50 between the genders but since women far outnumber men in the age category that are most affected – people over 70 – that actually reflects a continued pattern in which COVID-19 is more dangerous to men than women.