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A Little Help for the Department of Health

By April 29, 2020Commentary

Two days in a row at the Minnesota daily coronavirus briefing, staff from the Minnesota Department of Health have been unable to answer a very basic question for which information is easily available.  The question is “Isn’t Minnesota’s percentage of deaths in long-term facilities unusually high?”  One person two days in a row has given a completely off-point answer about testing, which obviously has nothing to do with where deaths are occurring.  You have to believe the hemming and hawing is because our proportion of deaths in long-term care facilities is unusually high, in fact the highest in the country.  Last week, I linked to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, and here it is again, to help the DOH staff.  (KFF Report)   That report shows that everywhere long-term care residents account for a disproportionate share of deaths, but nowhere like my home state.  In the 23 states for which the researchers could get data, the average percentage of such deaths was 27%.  In Minnesota it is over 80%.

We can be proud of what a great job we have done in preparing for the coronavirus in the residential settings for our most vulnerable population, especially since who would have thought those might be the places that would be hardest hit.  #noexcuses

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Matt R says:

    Very interesting. Is this a reflection of disproportionately high case fatality rates in MN Nursing homes, a disproportionately low case fatality rate in the non-nursing home population, or both? If it is only the former, the certainly increases the urgency of figuring out what MN is doing wrong. If it is only the latter, proof the rest of us should get back to normal living…

  • Harley says:

    Governor didn’t move fast enough to close down the state parks and the BWCA. All those elderly people wandering around Grand Marais, Ely and Park Rapids, that’s the “root cause”, for sure.
    The Dept of Health must have missed that in their “modeling”.

  • Matt R says:

    MDH Answers to questions today:
    1) They are confident the hospitals are prepared for the surge they’ve modeled (which of course is beyond realistic, which means they are UBER ready)
    2) 18 New Deaths, 16 in LTC. Of All deaths to date (319) 249 in LTC, and 99.24% had underlying conditions (which doesn’t even make sense because 1-.9924 * 319 = 2.42… shouldn’t it be a whole number?)
    3) Even though they said they are good on #1, we must continue all protective measures even on those not at risk so that we don’t overwhelm the hospitals….?!

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