Amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 deaths this summer, more Texans under 60 are dying

Health officials say that the state’s high rate of unvaccinated people contributed to a summer surge in hospitalizations, which preceded the spike in deaths.

By Karen Brooks Harper and Mandi Cai

Deaths from coronavirus in Texas each day

As of Sept. 2662,942 people who tested positive for the virus have died. The average number of deaths reported over the past seven days shows how the situation has changed over time by de-emphasizing daily swings.

Note: On July 27, 2020, the state began reporting deaths based on death certificates that state COVID-19 as the cause of death. On that day, more than 400 previously unreported deaths were added to the total death toll due to the reporting change. See notes about the data.
Source: Texas Department of State Health Services
Credit: The Texas Tribune

The dramatic and sudden increase in deaths — which jumped nearly tenfold over two months this summer — comes in spite of tens of thousands of vaccine doses being administered to Texans every day.

Delta brings age shift in deaths

Statistics provided by the state back up her observations. Compared to earlier surges, a larger proportion of the deaths during the most recent surge are people younger than 60, according to state numbers.

More younger Texans have died from COVID-19 in 2021 than in 2020

At the beginning of the pandemic, people age 60 and above made up around 80% of coronavirus deaths. Since vaccinations have become available, the share of elderly deaths has declined while younger and middle-aged people are making up a larger share of deaths.

Source: Texas Department of State Health Services
Credit: Mandi Cai

“Angry and frustrated” by new wave of COVID-19

“It’s very heavy work,” she said of being an ICU nurse. “I’m going to go back to school within a year. I don’t think I can stick with bedside for a long time. I thought I could, but I don’t think I can.”

This story originally published by the Texas Tribune.

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