ATLANTA — Georgians ages 64 and younger are dying of COVID-19 at nearly the double the rate of any other point of the pandemic, new data from the Georgia Department of Health shows.
The death rate has nearly tripled in people 54 years old and younger.
The data supports what Channel 2 Action News has seen, particularly in rural parts of the state, and what doctors on the frontlines have told us: That more young people are dying during the surge of the highly-transmissible variant of the coronavirus.
Since the delta variant moved through the state starting at the beginning of July, at least 895 Georgians who were age 54 and younger have died of COVID-19. That represents about 34% of the deaths in that age group since the pandemic began.
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The new data shows that deaths have risen 90% in people 64 in younger since July 1.
That number skyrockets in people ages 54 and younger, with almost 10 dying per day on average since July 1 compared to around 4 people on average during the previous 15 months.
That’s a staggering 154% increase in deaths in people 54 years old and younger in just three months.
Though cases are now decreasing, deaths tend to lag behind. Around 100 Georgians a day are currently dying of the virus.
The state does not release data on the percentage of people who have died from COVID-19 that were vaccinated, but some local hospital systems release regular data on vaccination rates among those hospitalized and in the ICU.
Wellstar Health Care, which operates 16 hospitals in metro Atlanta, said on Sept. 28 that 92% of COVID-19 patients who are on ventilators are not vaccinated.
In Gwinnett County, Piedmont Eastside announced in mid-September that 100% of the patients in their intensive care unit were not vaccinated.
Anyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Georgia.
A total of 22,626 Georgians have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. At least 2,626 people have died of the virus since Sept. 3, which represents 71% of the deaths since July 1.
Around 1 in 350 people across the state have died of the virus.
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