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About Those 2297 Cases Reported Yesterday

By October 17, 2020October 18th, 2020Commentary

A follow up report on the 2297 cases reported by Minnesota yesterday.  If you look at the cases by date of specimen collection table every day, as I have been for quite a while, you can track the assignment of every day’s cases reported to the actual date of specimen collection, or when the case was actually identified.  So looking at yesterday’s reported cases, which actually had dates of specimen collection beginning October 15 and earlier, here is where most of those 2297 cases went.  We are going to look at the dates from October 7 forward and compare the number of cases reported for those dates on October 15 versus October 14.  The first column is the October 15 number, the second is the October 14 number and the third is the difference.  I will update the post with a real table.

Date of CaseOct. 16 ReportOct. 14 ReportDifference
Oct. 7163216293
Oct. 91509145752
Oct. 10819705104
Oct. 11645423222
Oct. 121541613928
Oct. 13840150690
Oct. 1424010230
Oct. 151010

2250 of the 2297 tests reported on October 16 went to days in the last week or so.  I have been tracking this for a while and it is the lag analysis I have mentioned working on.  The lag is caused by the time it takes to actually perform the test from the date of specimen collection and the time it takes the lab to report it to the state.  Within a week, the actual cases for a day are pretty complete, only a few cases are being added.  But the bulk of the cases reported on October 16 went to dates three or four days earlier.  How many cases were there on October 16? Wait a week and we will see.  This is what you should be thinking when you see the daily cases reported.  Unfortunately although I know the reporters for our traditional media outlets understand this, they never explain it.  And I am a little confused as to whether there was or wasn’t a testing dump yesterday.  The Commissioner said no, the website says yes, but this analysis would also suggest no.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jim Edholm says:

    Sorry … I’m a bit confused about what you’re saying in the last paragraph. On the one hand you say that there doesn’t appear to be a “data dump”, but on the other hand you say that 2250 of 2297 occurred on the days preceding the 16th. I’m assuming what you’re saying by “data dump” is VERY OLD cases being finally entered into the system and that the 2250/2297 is just the typical time lag for processing??

    • Kevin Roche says:

      good question, when there have been testing dumps, the positive results, or cases, have been from weeks ago. This lag looks like the one I have been tracking for over a month and am planning to do a post on.

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