MN COVID-19 Update 4/9/2020
Minneapolis, MN - April 9, 2020 1:00 pm.
Good news - ICU usage down, percentage growth down. Bad news - active cases up, deaths up.
There is a lot to digest here. The first page is the daily COVID-19 update. We're still doing great.
Page 2 is a graph depicting what yesterday's MN State prediction would indicate as far as growth. They are predicting 3000 - 6000 deaths around the peak of June 2 (down significantly from previous predictions). If we use the low number, 3000 deaths, that would indicate that we have around 81,000 cases (3.7% mortality rate) by that time. As you can see by the chart, the rate of increase must grow significantly from the the path we are on. Note the current trend up through April 9. I would use their median prediction of 4500 deaths but then the graph is so out of proportion the current trend is undetectable. Where are they finding evidence of such a marked increase in state that is already sheltering in place?
Page 3 is an extrapolation of the path we are currently seeing with only modest increase. If this model is right we would have 6500 cases by June 2 and 200 deaths.
Page 4 is a look at what happened in Washington State. Why were we able to avoid what happened there? The answer is our early closing of bars and events. While the closures happened at similar times (bars and restaurants, Mar 15 WA and Mar 16 MN, and Shelter in Place, Mar 23 WA and Mar 27 MN) the amount of cases already in circulation were drastically different. On Mar 23 WA had 232 new cases, on Mar 27 MN had 52 new cases. (Minnesota had effectively shut down significantly before that date.) We may also be doing a better job of social distancing. As you can see WA had a big spike in cases starting Mar 27 and continuing until just recently.
That is why I think we Minnesotans should be able to understand how our leaders are coming to their conclusions. It's just a question of modeling and predictions. There should be nothing classified about it. A theoretical percentage increase should not be a classified secret.
If you've read this far you are a true policy wonk and I thank you for your time. Blessings to you and to the state of Minnesota. RBJ