Coronavirus in one state (135)

Governor Walz is talking faster and faster about less and less. Yesterday he appeared at the regularly scheduled press briefing with Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann (video below). They announced a shift in the recommended quarantine guidelines consistent with last week’s revised CDC guidance. Walz contributed approximately nothing to the discussion. He loves to hear himself talk.

My impression from listening in yesterday is that we are on the other side of the current wave of the epidemic. Fatalities reported over the past three days numbered 75 (12/5, 43 in long-term care facilities and other congregate care settings), 64 (12/6, 38 LTC residents), and 21 (12/7, 8 LTC residents). As I understand their remarks, new cases also seem to have moderated. Before declaring progress, however, they await the dreaded Thanksgiving effect on case numbers that they anticipate in the data this week.

Just to give you some idea of the typical age distribution of fatalities during every phase of the epidemic in Minnesota, I took a partial screenshot of the data for one of the worst days reported in the past two weeks (November 28). The data are provided alphabetically by county. The median age of death has remained stuck at 83 since the start of this series.

At about 20:00 of the video below Walz paid tribute to South Korea’s success in suppressing the spread of the epidemic. What did they do right and we do wrong? Walz didn’t say, but toward the end of his remarks he decried the absence of national leadership in the United States. President Trump apparently gets no credit for the “light at the end of the tunnel” that Walz and his crew otherwise tout.