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Tracking Cases in Minnesota

By September 22, 2020Commentary

Even among media members frustration is arising with Minnesota’s goofy way of reporting tests and cases.  Every day they tell us how many tests were reported on that day and every day they tell us there were x number of cases reported and every day they give us an updated case table with cases by date of positive test result.  This naturally causes confusion.  Why not just every day tell us the number of tests by day done and the number of cases on each specific day, as of that day.  Then you could actually calculate the positivity trend and the testing trend and case trend and you could normalize cases and testing.  The fact that they don’t do this naturally makes one thing they must be trying to hide something, although perhaps a more reasonable suspicion is that they are incompetent.    Below is a table which attempts to disentangle this a bit.  A lot of concern about cases due to Labor Day.  Nothwithstanding what the supposed Director of Infectious Disease says, incubation period is about 5 to 6 days. So I started the table with actual cases by positive test on a specific day, with the day being September 10, and then going forward for a week, to September 16.  The columns are how many cases were reported for that day as of a day of reporting by DOH.   I started that on September 15 and carried it through today.  So on September 15 DOH said there were 621 cases with a positive test on September 10, 528 with a positive test on September 11 and so on.  And on September 16, DOH said there were 638 cases on September 10 and 614 cases on September 11 and so on.  You can see that a lot of cases for a specific day have been reported with two to three days, but a number are still being added a week later.

By the end of this week we should have a good idea if there was a Labor Day surge, but we would also need to normalize that against testing.  In other words, how many tests were done on the day that positive specimens were reported for, and then compare various days as though an equal amount of testing had been done each day.  Sorry, no way to do that.  Just asinine.  The weekly report maybe has a slide with tests and cases lined up by week, but I can’t quite get a straight answer on even this question.  And in case you are wondering, the mask mandate continues to do a wonderful job of reducing transmission.  I will update that analysis as soon as I feel like the data has settled down.   As I said, the state administration has boxed itself in between wanting a lot of cases to keep the panic up and wanting lower cases to show the mandate worked.  So far, no dice on the mandate.

Date of ReportCases 9/10Cases 9/11Cases 9/12Cases 9/13Cases 9/14Cases 9/15Cases 9/16

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