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Minnesota Versus Wisconsin, Updated

By June 25, 2020June 30th, 2020Commentary

States bordering each other, similar population size, density and composition.  One ended its statewide lockdown on May 13 by court order, in the other, the Dictator is holding on to every shred of power he can, desperate to avoid close scrutiny of his rationale for an extreme lockdown.  So how have these two states faired recently.  Below is a table showing from May 29, when the effects of lifting Wisconsin’s statewide lockdown should have begun to be apparent, through June 21, showing new tests, cases, hospitalizations and deaths, by day in each state.  Note that there is one day in Wisconsin in which they apparently adjusted deaths and took a net one off.  You could do seven day rolling averages, but you would get the same picture.  According to COVID Tracking, Minnesota has performed 513,000 tests and Wisconsin 492,000, so roughly similar.  Because of a lag in how Minnesota reports cases, I used COVID Tracking for the last week of case data.  Minnesota also had issues at one point with test reporting so there is a day or so that looks weird but cumulative numbers are right.

Hospitalizations reporting is not helpful in most states, really just reflects the daily change in number of people in the hospital.  New admissions would be more helpful.  Wisconsin had 25068 cases, 3231 hospitalizations and 745 deaths cumulatively through June 22nd, according to the same source.  Minnesota had 33227 cases, 3830 hospitalizations and 1416 deaths.  Wisconsin’s case hospitalization rate is 12.9%, Minnesota’s is slightly better at 11.5%.  Wisconsin’s case death rate is 3.0%, Minnesota’s is 4.2%.  In last week or so, much more testing in Minnesota and therefore more cases.  Hospitalization change is relatively the same in the two states, but Minnesota continues to have an elevated daily number of deaths.  So why is Wisconsin doing so much better on deaths, notwithstanding the more relaxed mitigating measures?  And if lockdowns are so important, why aren’t Wisconsin’s numbers worse cumulatively, and certainly worse in recent weeks?

DateMN TestsMN CasesMN Hosp.MN DeathsWI TestsWI CasesWI Hosp.WI Deaths
May 29103834575629136027334718
May 308436168753098435236420
May 31688214236147368173204
June 1418157939103632140203
June 276714864822105223744012
June 315901520691416451483579
June 4109404035029121484923910
June 511037409463312322357527
June 6104131634722117923224112
June 79544137311611329264162
June 877714763411758920312-1
June 988814584020142272704415
June 10120404054119101872853910
June 1113401338401292753333311
June 1212818306352511628320277
June 13965815124911309272322
June 14014829159207240141
June 1552123892066255174122
June 16622339928911149266359
June 171944241441129662256329
June 1812292379291910599422327
June 19142733563017111162781711
June 20168914361912101973852614
June 21123204533086051280170


Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • DuluthGuy says:

    How in the world are outlets like the Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, etc not reporting on this? As you mentioned, two states side by side with similar population demographics, density, etc. The only difference is that Wisconsin’s lockdown ended on May 13 and Minnesota still has one. Heck, this would be an interesting story for a national outlet. Why won’t an independent or even slightly conservative outlet (WSJ, Washtington Times, etc) do a story on that. It can’t just be ignored forever. You pretty much gave them all of the data any reporter would need to write the story. If this disease is so contagious and dangerous, why does Wisconsin have even fewer deaths and hospitalizations than Minnesota? Heck, Duluth News Tribune, Rochester Post Bulletin, etc reporters…where are you?

  • Dave_in_Kimball says:

    Does Wisconsin report deaths in Long Term Care facilities similar to how Minnesota does? It seems that Minnesota’s fraction of deaths occurring in LTC facilities is at our near the highest in the country. LTC facility quality of care in Minnesota was as issue long before COVID.

  • Harley says:

    The most amazing piece of data was on June 8 in Wisconsin, # of deaths.

    Lazarus? And how come this story wasn’t reported?

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