Minnesota COVID-19 deaths continue to be concentrated among the elderly

Last week, I wrote on  whether Covid-19 mortality data justified extending the lockdown,  to which I said:

Given the fact that most of the Covid-19 deaths are among a specific demographic, it makes sense to focus isolation efforts on the more vulnerable groups while allowing businesses to open. Continuing with the current system in place does not provide extra protection to the most vulnerable groups. Extending lockdowns will likely only increase economic damage without significantly reducing COVID-19.

Minnesota has had the highest percentage of deaths among people living in Long Term Care facilities in the nation.  And as reported by the Star Tribune this trend continues to be the same.

Deaths from COVID-19 continue to be concentrated among the elderly and residents of long-term care facilities, with 13 of 17 newly reported fatalities on Tuesday involving residents of these facilities.

The pandemic has now been associated with 748 deaths in Minnesota, including 608 long-term care residents, according to the latest COVID-19 figures provided Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Minnesota long-term care residents represent only about 1% of the state population and they have made up 13% of total COVID-19 cases in the state. However, they have made up about 81% of total deaths. This is in contrast to the rest of Minnesota which makes up 99% of the population, 87% of cases but only 1% of total deaths.

It’s good that state health officials have reportedly started taking efforts to improve testing in long-term care facilities considering that this group continues to be the most vulnerable.

But this should have been the course of action from the very beginning. Instead, the focus was put on locking down the entire economy, neglecting these vulnerable groups.