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More than half of COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County are people over 80

Monroe County Department of Public Health
A partial view of Monroe County's online COVID-19 dashboard as displayed Sunday afternoon

Of the 19 people who have died of COVID-19 in Monroe County, 10 were between the ages of 80 and 99, the county health department said Sunday.

The department had previously declined to release information about the people who have died of the disease in the county, citing privacy concerns.

Last week, when there were 10 deaths in Monroe County, health commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said the average age of those who had died was 76.

Now, the county has released more information about the dead.

One person between the ages of 40 and 59 years old has died of COVID-19 in Monroe county, the health department said. Eight people between the ages of 60 and 79 have died, and 10 people between 80 and 99.

Both younger and older adults continue to be diagnosed with COVID-19 -- the 35 new cases confirmed Sunday include 10 people in their 20s and 30s -- and people across the age spectrum have been treated in Rochester-area intensive care units.

But the disease continues to be most deadly, both globally and, the county's data show, locally, for the oldest segments of the population.

The county's newly confirmed cases bring the total to more than 500. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment grew to a new high of 86 on Sunday, with 30 people being treated in an ICU.

Limited testing capacity continues to result in an undercount of local COVID-19 cases, but Mendoza has said that hospitalizations and ICU treatments are useful data points for projecting the peak of the epidemic.

Mendoza said last week that he anticipates a surge in cases to crest next month -- but that timeline is hazy and dependent on the extent to which people stay home and engage in social distancing.

Brett was the health reporter and a producer at WXXI News. He has a master’s degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.