New COVID-19 Report Shows Disproportionate COVID-19 Mortality Rates In Minnesota’s Asian Community

By Julia Gay


The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and Hmong Public Health Association (HPHA) released a new groundbreaking report, A Race to Close the Disproportionate COVID-19 Mortality Rates in Minnesota’s Asian Community, highlighting preliminary data on COVID-19 mortality rates among Asian Minnesotans. The findings draw attention to the disproportionate COVID-19 mortality rates among Hmong, Karen, Karenni community members, and affirm the community’s concerns about the inequities many predicted would exist for this population. CAAL and HPHA hope this report urges policy makers to use and publish more disaggregated health data related to COVID-19 infections and mortality. 

According to the report, 49% of all Asian COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota were from the Hmong community alone, disproportionately higher compared to mortality rates among white Minnesotans. Hmong, Karen, and Karenni COVID-19 death markedly ranked the highest in the City of St. Paul. This trend is consistent and persistent among various Asian ethnic communities.

KaYing Yang, CAAL’s Director of Programs and Partnerships, commented, “We have urged the Minnesota Department of Health to disaggregate data since the pandemic began. Their lack of will and urgency led us to produce this report. Now, we need to put this data into action because lives depend on it.”

The report includes 2020 COVID-19 mortality rates within the Minnesota Asian population, discusses social and environmental factors, and explores recommendations on how to close health disparities experienced by unique Asian cultural groups in Minnesota. 

“It’s imperative to scale up the collection and use of disaggregated data, specifically in the Asian American community, in order to understand COVID infections, vaccinations, and the longer-term impact of infectious disease,” states Chao Yang, founder of HPHA, “We urge decision-makers to provide disaggregated infectious disease information to develop and implement equitable interventions that can help to stop the spread of preventable deaths.”

About Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL)
The Coalition of Asian American Leaders (CAAL) is a social justice network that harnesses the collective power of Asian Minnesotans to improve community lives by connecting, learning, and acting together. To learn more, visit  

About Hmong Public Health Association (HPHA)
The Hmong Public Health Association serves and fosters collaborative community well-being through shared resources and networks for Hmong public health students and professionals at all levels. For more information, please email: