coronavirus covid-19 illustration file photo cdc dark background

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reveals the structure of the novel coronavirus. The illness caused by this virus is COVID-19.

How deadly has the coronavirus been in Lancaster County?

In a little over two months, it has claimed far more lives than a year’s worth of vehicles crashes, drug overdoses, suicides and homicides, county records show.

Since the first COVID-19 death here on March 26, the county has lost 302 people to the virus in 10 weeks, according to data from the county’s coroner, Dr. Stephen Diamantoni. The majority of victims have been elderly residents of local nursing homes.

The virus death toll is far more than the combined 2019 total of 216 deaths due to drug overdoses (104), suicides (52), vehicle crashes (47) and homicides (13), data on the coroner’s website shows.

No one is predicting that coronavirus deaths — which have averaged 4.3 per day — will continue at the same rate as the past 10 weeks. But if projected out over a full year, the toll so far would equal an annualized total of nearly 1,600.

In recent years, Lancaster County has averaged about 5,000 total deaths per year from all causes, according to data from the state Department of Health. Heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death here.

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