A by-the-numbers look at COVID-19 across the county

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   When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in the United States earlier this year.  Health Care professionals warned the population segment most likely to be at risk were people over age 60 with underlying health conditions.
   But when one looks inside the numbers, while the older people are at greater risk of dying from the disease, it’s being spread principally among people under  50.
   In Cass County, all fatalities have occurred in the 65 and older age group. But when the examining the numbers across the board, 583 of the county’s 784 total cases  as of Tuesday, are in the population age 59 and younger, with 20-39 year olds accounting for 270 positive cases. Twenty-nine cases have been reported so far in children under age 10, while another 78 cases have been reported in the 10-19 year old age group.
   “It’s clear older people appear to be taking this situation more seriously than younger people.  The older people, for the most part, are the ones who tend to wear their masks out in public, maintain social distancing and avoiding unnecessary trips outside the home,” said Teresa Armstrong, Director of the Cass County Health Department. Armstrong acknowledged only 118 cases have been reported in people 70 and older, but also acknowledged all of the county’s COVID-related deaths have occurred in that age group.
   Looking at other population segments, women have tested positive at a higher rate than men with 57 percent of the county’s positive cases found among women, compared to 43 percent among men.
Similarly, the majority of the county’s positive cases (379) have been found among Whites, while Hispanics have accounted for 232 positive cases and 27 cases were reported among the Black population.  An additional 69 positive cases came from individuals who did not identify their race or ethnicity.
   Taking a look at the county by community, 471 cases have been reported in Beardstown, followed by Virginia with 123 cases, Ashland with 65, Chandlerville with 43 and Arenzville with 24 total positive cases as of Tuesday.
   Illinois Department of Public Health statistics indicate more than 7,189 cases have been done in Cass County with 718 total cases testing positive, for a positive test rate of approximately10 percent as of Tuesday.
   Due to differences in reporting schedules, there may be some discrepancy in the numbers reported by the county health department and the IDPH.