Coronavirus in one state (112)

The COVID-19 casedemic rolls on but the authorities slightly loosen their grip (consistent with federal guidance) as the elections approach. The two sides of the story can be seen in Jeremy Olson’s “COVID-19 hospital admissions for Minnesotans reach a single-day high” (subhead: “Health officials encourage social distancing, mask-wearing to prevent virus growth from fueling more hospitalizations, deaths” and Chris Serres’s “Minnesota lifts restrictions on indoor visits to senior homes, but urges caution amid surge in COVID cases” (subhead: “State health inspectors will visit senior homes to make sure they are allowing in-person visits”).

Last night Olson added “Second COVID-19 peak spreading more broadly in Minnesota” (same subhead as above). The song remains the same but the drumbeat grows louder.

Governor Walz handed down his mask edict effective July 25. So far as can be seen in the numbers, however, the edict has failed to inhibit transmission of the disease. Kevin Roche crunches the numbers here. Yet Walz insists that he is sticking with “the science.”

Governor Walz has extended his rule by decree for another 30 days. The World Health Organization has an important new message that bears on the conditions of one-man rule: “Stop using the lockdown as your primary control method.” I don’t think Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune health care reporter Jeremy Olson covered this development yet, or that any question about it has even been posed by the reporters admitted to the Department of Health’s thrice weekly circle of love press briefings.

The hospitalization capacity charts below represent the current information available here from the Department of Health. The more darkly shaded area of each of the two charts reflects numbers attributed to the epidemic.

Since I last touched on the data, the authorities have attributed 10 new deaths (10/10, five among residents of long-term care facilities), 10 new deaths (10/11, three LTC), and three new deaths (10/12, one LTC) to the disease. Commissioner Malcolm noted at yesterday’s briefing (audio below) that total hospitalizations have reached 444, with 137 in intensive care. Why the department no longer provides the data on its Situation Update for COVID-19 is beyond me. That’s another question that remained unasked yesterday, although Malcolm thought it sufficiently important to note it.

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