At the end of 2020, the state Department of Health told us the state had been seeing a trend of excess deaths — more than expected in any given year in North Dakota.
The CDC says excess deaths are the number of fatalities above what’s expected at the beginning of the year.
Now, a couple of months into the new year, we have clearer data on just how many extra deaths happened last year. The final tally from the Health Department is 1,642 excess deaths in the state in 2020.
If you take into account the fact that more than 1,300 deaths are related to the coronavirus, there’s a clear link between the virus and the above-average death count.
Preliminary CDC reports for 2021 show up to 33 excess deaths so far this year.