Data: All ages infected, elderly most at risk

News Photo by Julie Riddle Barista Hannah Matzke, one of several Cabin Creek employees in their 20s, hands a drink to a customer at the downtown Alpena coffee shop on Thursday.

ALPENA — Alpena County residents in their 20s are just as likely to be infected by the coronavirus as older adults, data shows.

As of Thursday, 1,065 Alpena County residents had been infected with the coronavirus.

Fifteen of those were children younger than 10 and about 50 were teenagers, according to a News analysis of COVID-19 data provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The remaining infected Alpena County residents were distributed almost evenly among adults in all age groups, with those in their 60s by a small margin making up the largest share of infected county residents.

Other age groups were equally represented, however, with adults in their 20s in the second-highest age category.

“I feel like it was only a matter of time before we all got it,” said Alpena resident Hannah Matzke, 27.

The 20-somethings she knows wear masks and avoid social gatherings, she said.

Check out the interactive graphic below of infection data based on demographics. Story continues below graphic.

Though older people may be more susceptible to serious complications from the illness, all ages are in danger of contracting COVID-19, Matzke said as she prepared drinks for customers at a local coffee shop.

Among residents of Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties, people in their 60s were infected the most and residents younger than 50 were much less likely to be infected, according to the data.

While the virus infected people of all ages in Alpena County, all Northeast Michiganders who died following infection were 70 or older, according to state data, although the state doesn’t report deaths by age group if fewer than five people in that group died.

Northeast Michiganders 80 or older made up about 64% of the region’s COVID-19-related deaths.

While slightly more women than men in Northeast Michigan were infected, more than twice as many men as women died after infection.

In Alpena County, the first coronavirus test was administered on March 18, the day the state’s first COVID-19-related death was announced.

Over a six-month span in the beginning of the pandemic, from late April to mid-October, fewer than 1% of tests indicated someone was ill with COVID-19.

On Oct. 19, that easy pace turned to a gallop as tests spiked to 100 per day. Between Nov. 10 and the end of the year, 10 Alpena County residents per day were learning they had contracted COVID-19.

Still, of the more than 11,000 coronavirus tests conducted on Alpena County residents since March, 94% have been negative.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693, jriddle@thealpenanews.com or on Twitter @jriddleX.


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