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COVID-19 death rates in some less-populated Central Texas counties run higher than larger counties

Some counties in our region have death rates that exceed those in more-populated counties, based on the number of deaths per 5,000 population.

AUSTIN, Texas — Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Take the case of the death rates from COVID-19 in Central Texas as of Friday night.

In Travis County, there have been 274 deaths since the outbreak began. But when you take the actual population of each Texas county into account, three less populous counties in the KVUE viewing area have experienced higher death rates.

Based on a KVUE News analysis of state data, to date, the Travis County death rate is one per 5,000 population. But in Caldwell and Fayette counties, there are three deaths per 5,000. And Lee County’s death rate per 5,000 also exceeds Travis County at 2.25 deaths per 5,000.

The same data tells us that the death rate from the coronavirus in Hays and Williamson counties is about half the number of deaths in Travis County, only about 0.6 per 5,000 people.

Across Texas on Friday, health officials reported 6,569 deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Based on information gleaned from death certificates, Hispanics in Texas were more likely to die from the virus, accounting for nearly 50% of the fatalities, although the state has a 38% Hispanic population.

Among all the cases the state looked at, men died at a higher rate than women – 59% to 41%.

And despite the rising number of new cases among the 20- to 40-year-old age group, older Texans age 70 and above were far more likely to suffer the fatal consequences from the virus, according to state health department data.

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