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COVID-19 risk in Arkansas is top heavy

by Gazette Staff | April 13, 2020 at 4:28 a.m. | Updated April 13, 2020 at 5:16 p.m.

That senior adults have a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 has been well documented. But the middle years are almost as dangerous. Statics indicate that all those older than 17 have a higher vulnerability.

A new infographic created by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement illustrates the rates of positive COVID-19 cases in Arkansas for different age groups.

The infographic shows that as of Wednesday, the rate of positive cases in the state among people age 17 and younger was 3.4 per 100,000 people. Among those ages 1864, the rate was 41.4 per 100,000 people, and among those age 65 or older, the rate was 49.6 per 100,000 people.

Basically, 50% are retirement age or older. Forty percent are in the prime of life. And less than 4% have reached legal age.

But it is clearly the elderly population, and their caretakers, who must be especially wary.

"As this infographic demonstrates, the risk is greatest for senior Arkansans," said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. "We must protect our parents, grandparents and senior friends. Call, drop flowers, deliver groceries, but recognize that their lives are at risk."

Data for the infographic are drawn from raw positive case and test data from the COVID Tracking Project and the Arkansas Department of Health, as well as population data from 2018 American Community Survey one-year estimates. ACHI plans to update the infographic every week during the pandemic.

(ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development.)

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