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Older Maricopa County Residents Catching COVID-19 Less Frequently

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 - 3:02pm

Maricopa County health officials say they’re encouraged by data that shows older residents are getting sick less often compared to other demographics.

But overall, the growth in cases has been astounding — the county is averaging 1,800 new cases per day, according to Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, director of disease control for the Maricopa County Health Department.

That’s up from an average of just over 200 cases per day earlier in the pandemic.

Of those cases, 10% to 12% of those tested positive are 65 or older. Sunenshine said that’s a positive sign.

“That of course is our highest risk group,” she said. “And what that means is that people who are in our highest risk group seem to be taking precautions to protect themselves and prevent from getting exposed to COVID-19.”

The same can’t be said for younger county residents.

Over half of the new cases are between the ages of 20 and 44 years old. Sunenshine said that explains why the number of cases that lead to hospitalizations are on the decline. 

For every five new cases, the county averages one new hospitalization. That’s down from a 3-to-1 ratio earlier in the pandemic, Sunenshine said.

While the ratio has improved, the sheer volume of new cases means the county is still experiencing sharp increases in total hospitalizations.

Sunenshine said that Maricopa County residents should understand that every adult has an equal chance of catching the virus.

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