In response to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) new national warning against a surge in the respiratory illnesses Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and the flu, it’s crucial to recognize the potential impact across Minnesota, a state that lost more than 15,000 people during the span of the pandemic, which started in 2020. Surprisingly, throughout 2023 Minnesotans were still dying from Covid-related illnesses. 

Information by the CDC shows that nearly 391 Minnesotans died from respiratory illnesses last year, and in 2024 through January 18, 160 people have died from respiratory illness, 24 of them from Covid-related variants.Although the rate of infection, hospitalizations and deaths are nowhere near the crippling totals of the early days of Covid-19, there is still reason to take caution, especially with the addition of new variants and the arrival of RSV. Minnesota currently has a minimal threat rating of respiratory virus activity levels based upon national data that monitors the amount of respiratory illness (fever plus cough or sore throat) causing people to seek health care and visit emergency departments, as well as testing wastewater viral activity levels, which are elevated in the Midwest and South regions, according to the CDC. Minnesota is in better shape than a lot of other states like Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia, New Mexico and Louisiana, all showing high respiratory activity.

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