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MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From May to August 2020, COVID-19-associated deaths occurred mainly among older adults and in certain racial and ethnic minorities, especially Hispanics, according to research published in the Oct. 16 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jeremy A.W. Gold, M.D., from the CDC COVID-19 Emergency Response, and colleagues present demographic and geographic trends in COVID-19-associated deaths reported to the National Vital Statistics System during May 1 to Aug. 31, 2020.

The researchers found that 114,411 COVID-19-associated deaths were reported during the study period. Overall, 78.2 and 53.3 percent of the decedents were aged ≥65 years and male; 51.3, 24.2, and 18.7 percent were non-Hispanic White, Hispanic or Latino, and non-Hispanic Black, respectively. There was a decrease noted in the number of COVID-19-associated deaths, from 37,940 in May to 17,718 in June, followed by an increase to 30,401 in July and decrease to 28,352 in August. The percentage distribution of COVID-19-associated deaths increased from 23.4 to 62.7 percent in the South and from 10.6 to 21.4 percent in the West during May to August. The percentage of decedents who were Hispanic increased from 16.3 to 26.4 percent during the same period.

“These results can inform public health messaging and mitigation efforts focused on prevention and early detection of infection among disproportionately affected groups so as to minimize subsequent mortality,” the authors write.

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