Yesterday’s coronavirus briefing was another exercise in lecturing and frightening Minnesotans. The commissioner was unavailable, so the director of infectious disease carried the whole load. She is the most hectoring of the group in most cases anyway. She can’t even get the data right on basics like the lag between exposure and testing, which was said to be two weeks or more. The average time between exposure and symptoms is less than a week. So most people are getting tested less than a week from exposure, and people who are tested because they have to for work or health care appointments or as a result of contact tracing, and who have tested positive, are probably pre-symptomatic and even closer to exposure. And she was unaware of the widespread research showing that children are far more likely to be asymptomatic than adults.
The state still hasn’t solved the long-term care problem. Mention was made of a number of cases among long-term care workers and residents and 7 of 9 reported deaths on Wednesday were among long-term care residents. Of course the state is still not giving deaths by the date they actually occurred, so you can’t see actual trend. The primary terrorization yesterday was a very minor increase in hospitalizations. Look at the chart below and you can see that while cases are somewhat similar to the peak in May, hospitalizations and deaths now are way, way down. (thanks again to C. Nelson) Look at the difference between the light blue line and the green line. To find any cases now we are having to do a ton of testing and we are turning up a small proportion of positives and almost all are very mild or asymptomatic. This has reached the level of absurdity.