Colorado COVID-19 deaths by occupation: 1st-year statistics

Coronavirus

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

DENVER (KDVR) — In the first year of the pandemic, more workers in construction died from COVID-19 than any other occupation or industry in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released data to the Problem Solvers that tracked COVID-related deaths from March 1, 2020 to Feb. 28.

The information was collected by the Vital Statistics Program within CDPHE and is based on 46,421 death certificates among Colorado residents age 16 and older, of whom 5,921 died from causes related to COVID.

It also includes a category for deaths among those aged 16-64, which is traditionally considered “working age” and for whom the stats are more likely to reflect a person’s current occupation/industry at the time of death.

The outcomes include deaths due to all causes and deaths likely due to COVID-19. A spokesperson for CDPHE told FOX31 it should be noted that a specific occupation/industry is not intended to imply a connection between that occupation/industry and a cause of death.

The construction category is a good example of why the statistics need to be reviewed carefully.

Of the 5,921 deaths due to COVID during the first year of the pandemic, 12% were people who worked in construction. But construction workers age 16-64 actually accounted for 14% of the total deaths from all causes, meaning construction workers were not more vulnerable to COVID overall.

Healthcare workers age 16-64 actually died at a higher rate from COVID (8.48%) when compared to how many healthcare workers died from all causes of death (7.57%).  

Nonpaid workers or nonworkers had the highest rate, accounting for 15% of COVID deaths age 16-64 compared to 13% of all deaths age 16-64.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the stats emphasized how vulnerable the elderly are to COVID. Of the 5,921 Coloradans who died from COVID-related causes in the first 12 months of the pandemic, 5,001 were over the age of 64 (84%) and 920 people (16%) were people age 64 and younger

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