Montgomery County’s health department on Tuesday released the latest data that shows more white residents of the county have died from the virus than residents of other races. However, the highest death rate from the virus is among African Americans.
As of Friday morning, the Maryland Department of Health reported that the county has had 324 confirmed deaths from the virus.
There are 31 “probable” deaths, which have the virus listed as the cause on death certificates but have not been confirmed by laboratory tests.
The state Department of Health releases demographic breakdowns like these statewide each day. The county released racial data on deaths for the first time on Tuesday.
Mary Anderson, a spokeswoman for the county’s health department, said the county was initially releasing data on deaths by gender and age, but took the data down about a month ago after the state stopped consistently sending demographic information.
“The numbers weren’t all adding up and people were confused, so we took that down,” she told Bethesda Beat. “Last week, we were able to consistently get data on the people who have died.”
Anderson said the department will update the information on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“Everyone thinks that we get death data directly,” she said. “That’s sometimes the case, but it’s most often the case that it comes through the state health department that is connected with the office of the medical examiner. … I’m sure they got backed up and overwhelmed and everybody is still working with the same staff that they had before this.”
Here is the number of deaths ranked by race for 292 confirmed deaths, as of Tuesday’s figures:
● White: 141 deaths
● African American: 79 deaths
● Hispanic: 39 deaths
● Asian: 23 deaths
● Other: 10 deaths
Here is the breakdown rate of deaths per 100,000 population, also as of Tuesday:
● African American: 41.1
● Other: 35.6
● White: 31.2
● Hispanic: 18.8
● Asian: 14.3
The average rate is 28.1 per 100,000 residents.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimate in July 2019, there are more than 1.05 million residents in Montgomery County.
As of the bureau’s 2018 population estimates, the majority of the county’s residents — 60.2% — are white. The rest of the county population is 19.9% African American, 19.9% Hispanic, 15.6% Asian, and smaller percentages of other races.
The county on Tuesday also reported deaths by sex and age. There have been more deaths among men (159) than women (133). The rates are 31.6 per 100,000 among men and 24.7 for women.
The total number of the county’s known cases increased by about 4% from Tuesday to Wednesday, for a total of 5,790 cases.
As of Tuesday, there were 2,842 cases among men and 2,699 cases among women in the county. The case rate is 565.7 per 100,000 among men and 501.9 among women.
The county has also regularly recorded how many cases there have been among its employees — 135 of which are currently quarantined and awaiting test results, or are self monitoring, as of Wednesday.
More than 470 employees have been out of work because of a coronavirus-related exposure and 339 staff members have returned to work.
There are 31 employees currently quarantined who have tested positive — six from the police department, six from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, three from the transportation department, three from the health department, two from the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, and 11 from other county departments.
Most of the employees currently quarantined are from the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation — 34 are awaiting results or self monitoring and two have tested positive.
Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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To see a timeline of major coronavirus developments in Maryland and Montgomery County, click here.