Michigan's all-ages virus: More than one-third of Covid cases affect people under 40

August 04, 2020, 1:11 PM by  Alan Stamm

The pandemic that surfaced in Michigan five months ago has infected tens of thousands of teens, young adults, the middle-aged and older residents. State data tracks a growing impact on younger generations.

More than one-third of confirmed Covid cases since March 10 affect Michiganians under 40. Diagnoses in the first four age categories total 31,509 as of Tuesday -- 37.5% of the state's 84,050 patients testing positive, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

(Graphic: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services)

When the age cutoff drops to 29, the share of all cases is 23% (19,413) -- a statistic that undercuts any presumption of reduced health risks among younger people.

The good news is that deaths are lowest by far for those under 50 -- just 1.4% for those under 40 (87 fatalities) and 3.3% for patients in their 40s (204).

People 50 to 59 have the most cases -- 13,588 (16.2%) in the state's nine age groups. The 508 deaths in that category are 8.2% of all 6,219 fatalities.

The highest death toll, unsurprisingly, is among elderly victims aged 80 or more. More than 2,640 have succumbed, 42.5% of Michigan losses from coronavirus. (State figures list about 7,200 cases in that age group, 8.6% of the total.)

Mike Wilkinson, who tracks Covid data at Bridge magazine, this week reports on a lower average age:

The age of those contracting the virus continues to fall. In early June, 16 percent of all [Michigan] infections were among people under 30 years old. Since then, 40 percent of cases are people under 30.

People ages 20-29 represent nearly a quarter of all cases in the last two months, up from 12 percent before June 5.

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