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Ask The Answer Person: How do the number of COVID-related deaths in NE Iowa compare among counties when factoring in their different populations?

Posted: Mon, Oct 12, 2020 1:48 PM

Joe e-mails: "Is there any correlation between the number of C19 cases and deaths in the area counties and their total populations? It might be relevant to know if Winneshiek County is not only highest in cases/deaths, but is also the most populated county of those being compared."

The Answer Person says: The State of Iowa's coronavirus website breaks down COVID infection cases by population rates per 100,000 people, but its death statistics aren't computed that way.  Still, it's easy to take the official population figures for the six counties in NE Iowa and come up with results:

Winneshiek County     19,991     9 deaths (45 deaths/100,000)
Fayette County           19,650     2 deaths (10 deaths/100,000)
Clayton County           17,549     3 deaths (17 deaths/100,000)
Allamakee County       13,687     8 deaths (58 deaths/100,000)
Chickasaw County       11,933     1 death  ( 8 deaths/100,000)
Howard County             9,158      7 deaths (76 deaths/100,000)

So the answer is that Howard, Allamakee and Winneshiek Counties have the highest death rates from COVID as a percentage of their population, while Clayton, Fayette and Chickasaw Counties have been doing a good job--so far--of avoiding deaths from COVID."