Coronavirus in one state (56)

The COVID-19 epidemic appears to have stabilized and moved into a downward trajectory in Minnesota, yet we remain subject to the edicts issued by Governor Tim Walz under his emergency powers. Whether or not the epidemic is on a downward trajectory, the rationale for these edicts has long since dissipated. Nevertheless, Walz won’t let go.

Under the edicts applicable to commercial establishments that take effect June 10, “[c]ustomers and employees will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks and will be required to adhere to appropriate social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Occupancy rates will be limited based on risk, with an overall occupancy maximum of 250 people.” These are the bullet points summarizing the edicts effective June 10 formulated by the Minnesota Department of Health:

• Indoor social gatherings can take place with 10 people or less; outdoor social gatherings can take place with 25 people or less.

• Restaurants can begin offering indoor dining at no more than 50% capacity while maintaining social distancing and requiring reservations.

• Personal services, such as salons, tattoo parlors, and barbershops, may increase occupancy rates to 50 percent while requiring reservations.

• Places of worship can increase occupancy rates to 50 percent.

• Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios, and martial arts can open at 25 percent capacity.

• Indoor entertainment venues, such as theaters and concert halls, can open at 25 percent capacity.

• Recreational indoor entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, arcades, and museums can open at 25 percent capacity.

• Outdoor entertainment venues, such as sporting events, concerts, and theaters can open at 25 percent capacity.

Walz loves turning the dials of our lives. He’s not about to give it up any time soon.

Since I left off this series with the June 1 data in part 55 of this series, MDH has reported daily death numbers of 22 (June 2), 14 (June 3), 29 (June 4), 22 (June 5), 22 (June 6), 16 (June 7), 11 and (June 8). Long-term care deaths remain fixed at 80 percent of all deaths attributed to COVID-19.

In recent developments, state senator Karin Housley has extracted information from the Minnesota Department of Health on our nursing home crisis and posted it online here.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, we are now in a position to compare locked-down Minnesota with free Wisconsin. My friend Kevin Roche does the work that the Minnesota media haven’t done in his Healthy Skeptic post ‘Minnesota and Wisconsin.” Kevin observes:

Wisconsin gives us a look at seven day moving averages for cases. You can see the decline setting in and you see no change in that after the orders were vacated. If the incubation period is around 5 days, you would have expected to see a big uptick in cases if the lockdown orders really were suppressing spread that much. There simply isn’t one, at all, in fact the trend began to decline in this period, despite more testing. No noticeable uptick in hospitalizations or deaths either. Lifting the lockdown made no difference at all. The implication is obvious, we didn’t need one in the first place.

Kevin declares (slightly expurgated): “[W]hen our Governor blathers on and on about the science and the data and what the public health experts tell him, it is all bull. It’s over, Timmy, it’s over.”

The audio recording of yesterday’s Minnesota Department of Health briefing is below. The circle of love abides. This too should be over, but it continues.

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