The Minnesota Department of Health says almost one-thousand residents died from excessive alcohol use in 2020. Those numbers came from preliminary data on preventable deaths from alcohol use, which they released yesterday. Health officials say 171 more Minnesotans died from this cause than those who died in 2019. They believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected what they call an already “decades-long trend” of increasing alcohol-attributed deaths.   MDH notes a task force has recommended several precautions, such as increasing alcohol prices and regulating of alcohol vendors, in order to prevent these tragedies.