MN shelter-in-place extended

MN Gov. Walz has, as expected, extended the state’s stay-at-home order to 5/4. This is generally good news, and it shows the governor’s diligence in utilizing hard data to continue the positive response Minnesotans have earned as a result of their efforts at enforcing social distancing measures.

Under Wednesday’s action, bars and dine-in restaurants will now remain closed until the end of the stay-at-home period. They would have opened a few days earlier on May 1.

At what should be a period of exponential growth in this outbreak, health officials expected a doubling of COVID-19 cases every one or two days. Instead, that doubling is only happening every eight days.

The fatality rate has been lower than expected as well, though that is largely due to Minnesota hospitals having adequate beds and ventilators to treat severe cases so far. Initial models suggested a surge of severe cases that could overwhelm those hospitals and increase the death rate because some patients with severe respiratory symptoms wouldn’t have ventilators when needed.

Schools, bars, and dine-in restaurants will remain closed, of course, as the governor begins to evaluate which business may benefit from the loosening of restrictions while maintaining strict distancing come 5/4.

Michael L. Douglas @doctorpundit

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