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The New York Times reports coronavirus deaths among young Floridians are on the rise and race is playing a factor.
While the mythos surrounding COVID-19 has been that virus-related deaths are limited to older adults – a point often stressed by Gov. Ron DeSanits – data from the Florida Dept. of Health shows a spike in deaths among adults 25-44.
More Floridians in that age group died of coronavirus in July than had died in the previous four months of the pandemic combined.
While deaths in younger people still make up a relatively small portion of virus-related deaths – 38 for every 1,000 nationally – that number is up from 22 out of every 1,000 just two months earlier.
And in Florida, where the virus has killed older Black people at twice the rate it has killed older white people, the rate is even higher among the young. African-Americans age 25-44 make up 18 percent of Florida’s population but account for 44 percent of deaths. In Florida, young Black people are dying at nearly three times the rate of white people.
Epidemiologists in Florida say ethnic minorities and the economically disadvantaged often can’t social distance safely at home, work essential jobs and have to use public transportation, factors that put them at a greater daily risk.
What’s more, those numbers only represent deaths officially attributed to the virus. The overall death count among Americans 25-44 is much higher than normal this year. By this time this in the previous five years, about 78,000 people in that age group had died. This year, that number’s climbed to more than 96,000 people.
The difference, health officials worry, is coronavirus and cavalier youth.