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5 Worst States for Q1 COVID-19 Death Trends

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The first quarter was a catastrophically bad quarter for U.S. COVID-19 deaths and deaths from all causes.

The first reasonably complete first-quarter death totals from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirm the story earlier, incomplete CDC figures were telling: The total number of U.S. deaths from all causes was 24% higher than the total for the first quarter of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of confirmed deaths from COVID-19 might have decreased 17% from the 2021 total, to 143,281, according to the CDC’s epidemic threshold tracking data.

But that number could increase as mortality reports continue to gel, and the number of reported deaths from all causes fell just 2.5%, to 165,328.

For the five states with the worst increases in the number of deaths involving confirmed cases of COVID-19 between the first quarter of 2021 and the latest quarter, based on CDC death count data, see the gallery above.

For CDC death count data for all 50 states, see the table below.

What It Means

Ordinary people might be bored with COVID-19 and ready to worry about monkeypox.

But monkeypox has not killed anyone in the United States, so far, and COVID-19 has had an enormous impact on the U.S. mortality rate for two straight years.

In a normal year, before 2020, a health development that increased the number of U.S. deaths from all causes by 1% would have been considered shocking.

Life and pension actuaries say that they are still thinking that the impact of COVID-19 might be short-lived, but agents and advisors with an interest life insurance planning, estate planning, retirement planning, pension administration or annuities need to make sure that any work they do reflects awareness of the possibility that COVID-19 could continue to have a significant effect on U.S. mortality and life expectancy figures.

The Numbers

The earliest U.S. mortality figures come from CDC pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 tracking reports. The CDC uses the data to determine whether the number of deaths from an outbreak has met the epidemic threshold for the week.

The CDC also collects state-by-state death statistics, which tend to take longer to firm up. The slideshow above and the table below are based on the United States COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by State Over Time reporting system.

The earliest first state-by-state figures for the first quarter show that the number of deaths involving confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased in at least 23 states between the year-earlier quarter and the latest quarter.

Preliminary Q1 COVID-19 Death Totals

Confirmed Deaths from COVID-19, by State
2020 2021 2022 Change (2022 vs. 2021)
Alabama 49 3,786 2,802 -26.0%
Alaska 6 59 186 215.3%
Arizona 24 8,103 5,277 -34.9%
Arkansas 8 1,950 2,082 6.8%
California 150 32,562 12,268 -62.3%
Colorado 69 1,293 1,703 31.7%
Connecticut 69 1,891 1,616 -14.5%
Delaware 11 582 526 -9.6%
District of Columbia 9 278 122 -56.1%
Florida 180 10,831 10,548 -2.6%
Georgia 130 8,121 5,544 -31.7%
Hawaii 1 174 288 65.5%
Idaho 9 526 711 35.2%
Illinois 99 5,601 6,650 18.7%
Indiana 50 4,776 4,367 -8.6%
Iowa 7 1,852 1,587 -14.3%
Kansas 9 2,172 1,293 -40.5%
Kentucky 22 2,534 2,740 8.1%
Louisiana 239 2,653 2,141 -19.3%
Maine 5 396 671 69.4%
Maryland 38 2,581 2,472 -4.2%
Massachusetts 155 4,630 3,611 -22.0%
Michigan 558 3,489 4,963 42.2%
Minnesota 17 1,406 1,982 41.0%
Mississippi 153 1,555 1,876 20.6%
Missouri 32 1,948 3,919 101.2%
Montana 5 476 341 -28.4%
Nebraska 3 529 821 55.2%
Nevada 26 2,124 1,687 -20.6%
New Hampshire 3 480 491 2.3%
New Jersey 267 5,519 4,195 -24.0%
New Mexico 5 1,440 1,419 -1.5%
New York 1,955 12,434 8,322 -33.1%
North Carolina 13 4,851 4,712 -2.9%
North Dakota 3 157 233 48.4%
Ohio 55 5,886 8,595 46.0%
Oklahoma 31 2,586 2,455 -5.1%
Oregon 18 906 1,489 64.3%
Pennsylvania 63 9,115 7,570 -17.0%
Rhode Island 8 833 448 -46.2%
South Carolina 11 3,814 2,927 -23.3%
South Dakota 1 447 397 -11.2%
Tennessee 13 5,094 4,369 -14.2%
Texas 101 17,442 11,497 -34.1%
Utah 5 853 927 8.7%
Vermont 16 78 134 71.8%
Virginia 34 5,188 4,113 -20.7%
Washington 195 1,786 2,641 47.9%
West Virginia 1 1,173 1,495 27.5%
Wisconsin 16 2,073 3,129 50.9%
Wyoming - 262 265 1.1%
MEDIAN -2.9%

(Photo: Black Salmon/Shutterstock)