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Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases leading factor in virus deaths in SJ County

Of the 180 people that have died after testing positive for COVID-19 in San Joaquin County this year, more than 80 percent had either diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

According to new data that was released this week by San Joaquin County Public Health Services, many those who have died after contracting the virus were diagnosed with a comorbidity – defined as the presence of at least two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient – and 46.1 percent of all deaths involving patients who were confirmed to be diabetic.

At least 42.2 percent of those who died had cardiovascular disease, while 20 percent had chronic lung disease and 8.3 percent had asthma. Only 16.7 percent of those who died according to the new data did not have any comorbidities.

A disclaimer under the new graph in the agency’s COVID-19 dashboard the numbers listed explained that the percentages do not add up to 100 percent because there were also patients who had more than one of those comorbidities.

The release of new data comes just as the number of confirmed cases – which was listed at 11,958 throughout the county – are starting to move in the right direction.

On Monday the number of confirmed cases added to the dashboard dropped below the highest one-day total seen in the country through the months of March and April and most of May and appears to be trending downward over the course of the last several days. On July 30 there were 233 new cases added to the dashboard, and that number dropped down to 87 on August 1 and dipped down to 35 by Monday.

According to a breakdown of ZIP codes in the South County, Manteca currently has a higher concentration of COVID positives – a shade of red for 95336 and a slightly lighter red/orange for 95337 – compared to neighboring ZIP codes. Lathrop’s 95330 ZIP code is an orange color while Ripon and Escalon’s 95366 ZIP code is a lighter color of tan. Tracy, for example, shares the same color code as Lathrop.

Males are currently disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in San Joaquin County, accounting for 57.8 percent of all deaths and 52.2 percent of all cases while the Hispanic population accounts for 29.9 percent of all cases – adjusted to 41.1 percent based on population – as well as 37.2 percent of all deaths.

While residents 65 and older account for only 10.6 percent of the overall cases in the county, that age group currently accounts for 65 percent of all deaths – followed by the 50-64 age group which accounts for 26.7 percent of all deaths. Those under 50 currently account for almost 71 percent of all confirmed cases, but less than 9 percent of all deaths.

Of the 110 outbreaks in San Joaquin County, nearly 60 percent are attributed to community transmission while less than 20 percent have been traced to skilled nursing facilities. 

Even though the numbers appear to be trending downward over the last several days, San Joaquin County is still lagging far behind the thresholds set by the State of California. The maximum for positive cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days is currently set at 25, and according to recent data from the California Department of Public Health, San Joaquin County is currently averaging more than 308 cases – more than 12 times the accepted level. The county is also more than double the state maximum of 8 percent for positive tests – all data that will factor into when the county will be eligible to reopen schools to children.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.