Weekly Update: #COVID19 case/death rates by county, partisan lean & vaccination rate


Here's the weekly look at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020).

As always:

The partisan ratio of case rates are now only running 1.6x higher per capita in the reddest tenth of the country than the bluest tenth, down from 3.0x higher in late October, 2.4x higher two weeks ago and 2.0x higher just a week ago, reflecting how contagious the Omicron variant is in terms of infecting people even if they're fully vaccinated (death rates are clearly a very different story, however, as you'll see below):

The partisan ratio of death rates since June, however, is still 5.7x higher in the reddest tenth than in the bluest tenth...down from 6.0x higher in late October, but up from 5.6x couple of weeks ago:

Here's the same death rate data since the end of June in scatter-plot format:

Meanwhile, here's what the same data looks like on a nonpartisan basis: Case and death rates based purely on vaccination rate of each county. The following graphs are officially through New Year's Eve, but there was little reporting over the holiday weekend. Both measure the county-level case and death rates since the end of June compared against what percentage of the population has received either 2 doses of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Again, I've broken the population of the 50 states +DC (~331 million people...this doesn't include the U.S. territories) has been broken out into ten brackets of roughly 33.1 million apiece.

Case rates since June are now just 1.4x higher in the least-vaccinated tenth of the country than in the most-vaccinated tenth, down from twice as high two weeks ago and 1.7x higher just a week ago.

Note: As I explained in a recent blog post, Miami-Dade County, officially part of the "most-vaccinated bracket," is a massive outlier when it comes to the relationship of cases/deaths to the official vaccination rate, and I strongly suspect this is due to a substantially high incidence of "vaccine tourism" combined with the "snowbird" effect. It therefore likely belongs in the 7th or 8th brackets instead & both the case & death rates in the 10th bracket are likely a bit lower still than the official data would indicate.

...while when you look at the death rates, however, the contrast remains far more stark: Death rates in the least-vaxxed tenth since June are still 4.6x higher than in the most-vaxxed tenth, up slightly from 4.5x higher two weeks ago:

Here's the same death rate data (since June 30th) in scatter-plot format. The massive Miami-Dade County outlier is obvious when displayed this way. I've also labeled Apache County, AZ which is another case of curious vaccination data (thanks to a reader who wishes to remain anonymous for calling this out to me)--the CDC has Apache (which includes a portion of the Navajo Nation) as being a whopping 96% fully vaccinated...but the official Arizona Health Dept. COVID dashboard has it down as only being less than 42% vaccinated.

The high death rate suggests that the AZ Health Dept. has it right (ie, that it's actually a far lower vaxx rate than the CDC claims), but there's also this NY Times story from November stating that Navajo Nation overall has seen a huge surge despite a high vaccination rate, so...

I don't know what the deal is there--it's possible that the AZ data doesn't include doses administered by tribal authorities, or perhaps the CDC is double-counting that or something? In any event, I wouldn't take the official vaccination data for Apache at face value.

The other county I've noted is Sumpter County, FL which is home to The Villages, the massive Trump-loveing retirement community.

Get vaccinated & get boosted, dammit.