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More than half of COVID-19 deaths in Monroe County are people over 80


Nineteen people in Monroe County had died of COVID-19 as of Sunday, and more than half — 10 of them — were between the ages of 80 and 99, according to the county Health Department.

Since the outbreak began, the department has declined to release information about the people who have died of the disease in the county, citing privacy concerns.

Last week, however, when there were 10 deaths in Monroe County, Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza said the average age of the deceased was 76.

Now, the county is releasing more information about the ages of the dead.

In addition to the 10 people between the ages of 80 and 99 who died, one victim was between the ages of 40 and 59 years old, and eight were between the ages of 60 and 79.

Meanwhile, both younger and older adults continue to be diagnosed with COVID-19. The 35 new cases confirmed Sunday included 10 people in their 20s and 30s, and people across the age spectrum have been treated in Rochester-area intensive care units.

But the disease continues to be most deadly, both globally and, the county's data show, locally, for the oldest segments of the population.

The county's newly confirmed cases bring the total to more than 500. The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment grew to a new high of 86 on Sunday, with 30 people being treated in an ICU.

Limited testing capacity continues to result in an undercount of local COVID-19 cases, but Mendoza has said that hospitalizations and ICU treatments are useful data points for projecting the peak of the epidemic.

Mendoza said last week that he anticipates a surge in cases to crest next month — but that timeline is hazy and dependent on the extent to which people stay home and engage in social distancing.

Brett Dahlberg is a health reporter with WXXI News, a media partner of CITY. He can be reached at