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Minnesota’s Covid-19 ICU hospitalizations are down 66% from their December peak

Last week, I noted that Minnesota’s Covid-19 ICU hospitalizations were down 58.8% from their December peak. Happily, this trend has continued.

Data from the Minnesota Department of Health, seen in Figure 1, shows that, as of the seven days up to and including January 14th, total average ICU hospitalizations in the state are down 12.3% – or 141 beds – from their peak of the seven days up to and including November 21st. The surge in non-Covid-19 ICU hospitalizations, starting in early December and now also falling, has been more than offset by the decline in the number of Covid-19 ICU patients, which started at the same time: these are down by 66.0% – or 256 beds – from their peak of the seven days up to and including December 1st/2nd. Capacity remains at 1,212, 34% down from November.

Figure 1: ICU hospitalizations in Minnesota, seven day moving average

Source: Department of Health

The story is much the same with hospitalizations generally, as Figure 2 shows. In the seven days up to and including January 14th, total average non-ICU hospitalizations in Minnesota stood at 5,899, down 14.5% – or 997 beds – from their peak in the seven days up to and including November 10th. This represents a deterioration of the situation since December 29th, when the seven day average for non-ICU hospitalizations stood at 5,415, but this rise in non-ICU hospitalizations is accounted for entirely by an rise in non-Covid-19 hospitalizations. Indeed, over this period, Covid-19 non-ICU hospitalizations have fallen by 27.0%, or 199 beds. Indeed, from their peak in the seven days up to and including November 25th, the number of Covid-19 non-ICU patients has fallen by 62.2% – or 886 beds – from their peak of the seven days up to and including November 25th.

Figure 2: Non-ICU hospitalizations in Minnesota, seven day moving average

Source: Department of Health

Each hospitalization and each death is a tragedy. But we must not be blinded to good news when it comes, and these numbers are good news. Overall, total ICU hospitalizations were lower in the seven days up to and including January 14th than at any time since the the seven days up to and including August 16th and, despite the recent surge in non-Covid-19 non-ICU hospitalizations, the total number for the seven days up to and including January 14th was below the number for any period between the seven days up to and including June 15th, when the data series begins, and the seven days up to and including December 24th.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

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