Colorado county claims lowest COVID-19 fatality rate in the nation

Vail, Colorado. Photo Credit: bauhaus1000 (iStock).

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeds 22,000 in Colorado, with more than 900 statewide fatalities directly related to the disease, one mountain community is standing out with the lowest fatality rate among counties that have had COVID-19 deaths across the nation.

As of May 19, 2020, there have been 8 deaths related to COVID-19 in Eagle County. According to a report from the Summit Daily, the death rate from COVID-19 in the mountain county is less than 0.15%, which is the lowest in the nation. Case fatality rates are based on the number of people who have died divided by the number of people who have tested positive for the virus.

In Eagle County, home to Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort, initial COVID-19 cases escalated during one of the first outbreaks in the state with the early spread of the virus seen throughout ski country. The first Eagle County resident to die from COVID-19 was a local musician in his mid-60s, also with underlying medical conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes.

The initial outbreak may have been the result of Eagle County’s role as a tourist destination, with a similar trend seen in mountain communities around the state.

Eagle County seems to be overcoming the pandemic thanks to its high testing capabilities. Lower obesity rates may also be a contributing factor and the high elevation could also play a role.

Vail Health estimates about 11.5% (6,300 people) of the population has already been infected with the virus in Eagle County. This data is based on what Vail Health is calling the “largest sample size of anywhere in the country.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported a total of 22,202 COVID-19 cases statewide as of Tuesday afternoon – meaning the 570 positive cases of COVID-19 in Eagle County represents about 2.6% of the state’s total cases.

Thanks goes out to all the first responders. To the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and all those who are on the front lines of fighting this pandemic.

Editor’s Note: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has now started to differentiate between those that died directly due to COVID-19 and those that died with COVID-19. Read more about that change  here.


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