Nursing Homes Continue to Account for 80 Percent of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Deaths

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Long-term care facilities continue to account for 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported nine new deaths Monday, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 428. Of those 428 fatalities, 345 (80 percent) were people who resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

As of Sunday, Minnesota had 419 total deaths, 338 of which originated in long-term care facilities, meaning the number of COVID-19 deaths connected to nursing homes has remained at 80 percent for at least the past few days.

Since Saturday, 49 (86 percent) of the 57 new deaths reported in Minnesota were in long-term care facilities.

For comparison, just 133 (or 39 percent) of Wisconsin’s 340 total deaths were among residents of long-term care facilities as of Monday.

Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann addressed this disparity during a Friday press briefing.

“We sometimes get questions about Minnesota’s numbers in this area compared to other states. We’re not in a position to fully analyze what is happening nationally or in 49 other states, but there are a variety of approaches being used in other states to elevate and track COVID deaths in long-term care facilities. Here in Minnesota, we are being very aggressive about monitoring for them,” she said.

For instance, not all states are conducting postmortem testing for COVID-19 like Minnesota is, she noted.

“Differences among states make it very difficult to draw conclusions about the numbers we’re seeing. We do think it’s very unlikely that there’s anything different about how the virus is behaving in Minnesota, or that there are any significant differences in the vulnerability of our long-term care residents or how our long-term care facilities are responding compared to those in other states,” Ehresmann added.

State health officials said last week that 99.24 percent of Minnesota’s COVID-19 deaths were among people either living in long-term care facilities or with an underlying health condition.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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