fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Where does Minnesota stand in its fight against Covid-19?

The first and second surge in cases

Figure 1, using Minnesota Department of Health numbers, shows the seven day moving average for new Covid-19 cases in Minnesota. We see an initial exponential(ish) surge to a peak of 732 on May 24th. There is then a slump to a low of 314 on June 16th followed by another surge to 626 on June 13th. Since then, the numbers have stabilized: indeed, since August 2nd they have trended downwards.

Figure 1: Seven day moving average for new Covid-19 cases in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Department of Health 

The second surge in cases was not matched by a second surge in hospitalizations

This second surge in cases from mid-June might warn us against lowering our guard: if we had a second surge, why not a third? But, as Figure 2 shows, this second surge in cases from mid-June led to nothing like the surge in hospitalizations that the first surge in cases did in April and May. This is because, up to May 28th, Minnesotans aged 60 and over accounted for 27.7% of cases. These folks are disproportionately likely to need hospital treatment – they accounted for 52.5% of all Covid-19 hospitalizations. By contrast, this group of Minnesotans account for just 13.1% of new cases between then and August 13th. The second surge was more likely to hit younger Minnesotans who are less likely to be acutely affected. Also, as the pandemic progresses, we are learning new and better ways to treat it.

Figure 2: Seven day moving average for new Covid-19 cases and daily Covid-19 hospitalizations in Minnesota

Source: Minnesota Department of Health 

The second surge in cases was not matched by a second surge in deaths

These last two points also explain why the second surge in cases has not been matched by a second surge in deaths. Figure 3 shows that, while the first surge of cases in April and May was accompanied by a surge in deaths, the second surge in cases from mid-June just hasn’t been. When the media breathlessly report a day’s case count, it isn’t clear that that is telling you anything about the spread of acute cases of the disease.

Figure 3: Seven day moving average for new Covid-19 cases and deaths

Source: Minnesota Department of Health 

Minnesota is well placed in its fight against Covid-19

The state government’s handling of Covid-19 in Minnesota’s care homes has been a disaster. But, at present, Minnesota has 1,019 ICU beds out of 1,222 in use with a capacity of 2,182 at 72 hours notice. The emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic in Minnesota, for now, at least, has passed.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

Tags:

Comments