The monthly (March) COVID Epidemiologic Summary has been released. Last month, the reported COVID death count for February was 15; that has been revised, doubling it to 30 deaths in February.

For March, the current report counts 13 COVID deaths, but as with February, the figure will almost certainly be revised upwards in future monthly reports.

The graph above shows the number and seven-day moving average of COVID deaths, July 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 (N=345). Note that there is a newly reported death from as far back as July 2022. On average, there has been 1.26 COVID deaths per day over that period, or 38.3 deaths per month.

As I pointed out Friday, over roughly the same period, 69 people died from influenza, so according to NS official data, COVID has been five times as lethal than the flu.

Of the 13 COVID deaths we now know about in March, 92% (12) were in people aged 70 years and older and 38% (5) were in people residing in a long-term care facility.

There were additionally 69 people hospitalized in March because of COVID — three were aged 18-49; 18 were aged 50-69; and 49 were over 70. (Yes, that adds up to 70, not 69; I can’t explain that).

The table above shows the hospitalization* and death rates by age group, 1 July 2022 to 31 March 2023, and the “relative risk.” Note that a small number of hospitalizations are missing, as their ages weren’t known.

The table above shows age-adjusted hospitalization and death rates by vaccine status, July 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Overall, people 70 years older are 29 times more likely to have been hospitalized compared to people 18-49, and 24 times more likely to die compared to 50-69 years of age.

People who were unvaccinated or had not completed their primary series were hospitalized and died at two times the rate as those who received a booster within 168 days.

The report goes into number of new cases and associated data, but outside very specific concerns like a particular nursing home, I don’t find the data particularly relevant, as no one much is getting tested.

Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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