Coronavirus in one state (23)

(Scott Johnson)

The Minnesota Department of Health updated the data on our COVID-19 nursing home crisis yesterday. New cases continue to accumulate, but we have the excess hospital capacity to absorb them (that’s me talking, not MDH). I have been tracking deaths in this series. We have 28 new deaths attributed by the authorities to COVID-19. The number of new deaths continues to escalate. The total of deaths attributed by the authorities to COVID-19 is 272 as I write this morning.

The pattern here having become so obvious, it is noted by MDH in yesterday’s update as follows: “Five fatalities were not long term care residents.” We can do the arithmetic. Twenty-three of the 28 new deaths occurred among residents of nursing home and long-term care facilities.

One has to make it to paragraph 10 of the Star Tribune story to find this, but at least it is there today — albeit in this absurdly guarded fashion (emphasis added): “In general, COVID-19 is thought to pose greater health risks for the elderly, especially those living in group settings [with compromised physical conditions, it should be added]. The median age of people who have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota is 83, while the median age of confirmed cases is 52. At least three-quarters of people who have died with COVID-19 in Minnesota were in group-living facilities.”

Of the 28 new decedents, 8 were in their 90’s, 10 in their 80’s, four in their 70’s, three in their 60’s, two in their 50’s, and one in his 40’s (the youngest decedent so far, “with underlying health problems” and living in an assisted-living facility in the county that includes Minneapolis).

Governor Walz has loosened the restrictions of his March 25 lockdown order to allow some businesses to reopen today. Query how many will be able to take advantage of the relaxation. The Star Tribune examines the question here. We shall see.

It’s time to stop the madness. As Junie B. Jones might put it, “Boom! Do the math.”

On a personal note, seeking to circumvent press secretary Teddy Tschann, I tweeted Governor Walz with a personal plea to be admitted to his daily briefings yesterday (below). I’m afraid, however, that Tschann administers Walz’s Twitter account. If you happen to have an email address that might reach the governor directly, please let me know (

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