MDH reports zero COVID-19 deaths for the second time in a month

Earlier today the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 1,197 new positive COVID-19 cases. This is one of the lowest numbers in recent weeks. Even better, MDH reported zero COVID-19 deaths.

This is the second time in about a month that Minnesota is recording zero COVID-19 deaths. On March 22nd, Minnesota also faced zero reported deaths from COVID-19.

Outcomes have been improving since November Peak

Generally speaking, COVID-19 outcomes have been improving in Minnesota since November/December peak in 2020. Hospitalizations and deaths have been trending down– with deaths more so– in recent weeks after a small peak in early April.

This is to some extent largely a sign that newer cases are concentrated among the young who face a significantly lower risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Vaccines, plus natural immunity and other seasonality trends, have waned off the risk of COVID-19 infection among the elderly. As of late, younger people are making a higher percentage of positive cases.

Source: Minnesota Department of Health

Improving COVID-19 outcomes in Minnesota is certainly a thing to celebrate. But it’s important to keep in mind: this trend is unlikely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For one, nationwide, there has also been an improvement in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. So to a greater extent, improved outcomes are likely due to some shared characteristics e.g vaccination, seasonality, natural immunity, and no restrictions. For instance, Texas after opening up is faring much better. On the other hand, stringent restrictions in Minnesota have not had much impact on mortality.