COVID-19, flu, RSV hospitalizations decrease in Minnesota

According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) weekly viral respiratory illness data, hospitalizations for COVID-19, flu and RSV all saw continued week-over-week declines.

The data, which is updated at 11 a.m. on Thursdays with the information for the prior week, showed a peak for all three illnesses during the week of Dec. 24 and decreases in weekly hospitalizations since then, with COVID-19 having the largest decrease.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are at the lowest level, of 4.47 people per 100,000 people, since late October 2023, though that rate is higher for folks aged 65 and older.

Influenza A is the most common strain of flu this season with 16.3% of lab tests for the flu coming back positive for the week ending Jan. 20.

So far 1,704 Minnesotans have been hospitalized during the 2023-2024 flu season, which starts in early October. Last year saw 3,338 total flu hospitalizations.

Four new school flu-like outbreaks were reported with the latest data, the same amount as the prior week. There were also four long-term care outbreaks.