I am an epidemiologist and a lifelong resident of Genesee County. I wanted to point out an issue with the letter to the editor in the May 14 edition titled “Rights cannot be infringed upon.” The author of the letter states that the death rate in Michigan from coronavirus is 1.69 percent. There is an error in the logic that is used to calculate the rate. The case fatality rate for a disease equals the total number of deaths divided by the total number of cases.
The author reports a death rate based on the total number of deaths divided by the total number of tests. In Genesee County (as of 5/15/2020) there were 1,837 identified cases and 228 fatalities for a case fatality rate of 228/1,837 x 100 = 12 percent.
I would also mention by having 228 deaths in Genesee County, we have more deaths in our county than 16 states have in their entire state.
I understand that this was an editorial piece, but I find it dangerous to spread misinformation about the impact of this virus. Thank you so much for your service to our community. — Dr. Nicole Jones, Swartz Creek