WAYNE, NJ – The Wayne Township website has been publishing COVID-19 statistics since early April. One of the chilling statistics they publish is the death rate for Wayne, which climbed to 11% on May 18.
11% of the residents of Wayne who contracted the coronavirus have died. That is a very scary statistic, but the number itself is somewhat deceiving.
The stat comes from the total number of deaths of Wayne residents divided by the cumulative number of positive cases for Wayne residents.
As of May 18: 137 deaths divided by 1,248 positive cases = .1097756 = 10.98% which is rounded up to 11%
This one statistic can be broken down by age giving new data that will show the Wayne general population has a very small death rate.
However, this data also shows the nightmare situation that Wayne’s senior population is currently facing.
55% of the Township’s COVID positive cases were from residents aged 60 and older, yet 96% of Wayne’s deaths have occurred in this population. The exceptions were four residents who died in their fifties and one resident who died at age 37.
The death rate for Wayne residents 70 and older is an incredible 24.84%
- The death rate for residents younger than 70 is 2.68%
- The death rate for residents younger than 60 is 0.89%
- The death rate for residents younger than 50 is 0.27%
In early March, Governor Murphy issued an order requiring nursing homes and long-term care facilities to accept COVID-19 patients, or more accurately, these facilities were not allowed to deny admission or re-admission “solely based on a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.”
The Governor has only recently ordered widespread COVID testing for LTC facilities. These are set to begin on May 26.
Mayor Chris Vergano has stated several times during his daily COVID briefings that 75-80% of the deaths of Wayne residents have occurred in long-term care facilities.
The May 19 numbers for Wayne Township continue the trend. Five deaths were announced by the Mayor during this briefing, and all five were residents of local LTC facilities.
LTC facilities across the state are experiencing these same disastrous statistics, so it’s no wonder that the reporting from these facilities is so backed up. The positive cases reported on May 19 from LTC were from residents who were tested between March 27 and May 10. And the reporting of deaths is delayed sometimes by more than a month.
To help further spread of the virus, no visitors are allowed in LTC facilities, so residents are cut-off from their family members except through virtual means such as Zoom or Facetime. Within the facilities, the residents are not allowed to socialize with each other. Their only physical contact comes from the medical team who wear full protective gear.
Many of these residents live in constant fear, and the end of this disastrous situation is far from over. A vaccine is being worked on, but the one that is currently in clinical trials and showing some promise is still considered about a year away from distribution.
Comparisons have been made between COVID-19 and Influenza. According to the CDC, approximately 90% of the influenza deaths occur in people 65 and older. The Wayne stats show that 85% of COVID-19 deaths have occurred in residents 70 and older.
The 11% death rate for Wayne Township does not tell the story; it distorts reality. For most of us, there is not much more to worry about than a bad season of the flu, but for our older population, especially those in LTC facilities, the reality is an absolute fear for their lives.