Nationally for all ages combined, all-cause mortality was in the very high severity category for 9 weeks. Among people 18 to 49 years of age, there were 29 weeks of consecutive very high severity mortality. Forty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and New York City each experienced at least 1 week of very high severity mortality for all ages combined.
These periods of very high severity of mortality during March through December 2020 are likely directly or indirectly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. This method for standardized comparison of severity over time across different geographies and demographic groups provides valuable information to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify specific locations or subgroups for deeper investigations into differences in severity.
We adapted the Moving Epidemic Method to all-cause mortality data from the United States to assess the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic across age groups and all 50 states. By comparing all-cause mortality during the pandemic with intensity thresholds derived from recent, historical all-cause mortality, we categorized each week from March to December 2020 as either low severity, moderate severity, high severity, or very high severity.
In the United States, infection with SARS-CoV-2 caused 380,000 reported deaths from March to December 2020.
Dahlgren FS, Rossen LM, Fry AM, Reed C. (2022). Severity of the COVID-19 pandemic assessed with all-cause mortality in the United States during 2020. Influenza and other respiratory viruses