Saturday, August 15, 2020

Covid in MN through 8/15/20

 So my data obsessed side has me still recording and plotting data from the MN Covid Situation Update page. It's largely to see how things continue to play out. Here are a couple of key points:

The new case rate is holding steady around 5.2 %. This rate seems to hold regardless of the number of new tests administered:

Hospitalizations and ICU numbers are also holding relatively constant in the low 300s and mid 100s, respectively:

The data has "positive tests" and a "no longer needing isolation" values. Taking these data (probably overly simplistically) as sick versus cured their difference shows a clear second wave, of which we are about where the first wave peaked:

Deaths appear to be accelerating (plot on MN Covid website)

The percent of deaths from assisted living facilities continues to decline and is now below 75% of total deaths. Likely from the virus largely having run its course through the facilities

To me, this data is saying a few things:
  • Be vigilant. Keep wearing your mask, washing your hands and social distancing. That things are holding constant while other places are surging is a sign that we've struck a balance that seems to work
  • Be patient. This will take time to move on, but it will move on. The manner in which Covid spreads and dissipates depends on our collective behavior. As Red-Green says, "Hang in there, we're all in this together"
  • The data is helpful, but it's likely not the whole story. One example of this was talking with an hourly worker who was worried insurance wouldn't cover their testing. If this is a general concern it means we could be grossly undertesting certain populations. This could have the effect of skewing demographic and other social breakdowns of the numbers. Frankly, such an emergency should result in testing to be freely available to get the numbers right. 
That's all I've got for now. I'm pulling for you MN!

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