What is Minnesota Doing with its Negative Test Results?

By March 27, 2020 Commentary

Now I am going to make an inflammatory accusation.  Something weird is going on with Minnesota test numbers.  This site, which I have linked to before, collects testing results from across the country.  (Test Tracking)   Go to the Minnesota numbers.  Note the incredibly low number of positive test results.  Unless my math is seriously wrong, it is a 2.7% positive test rate.  Gee, that seems like a far cry from the 50% the Governor is quoting.  And again, those getting tested are a self-selected population who think they have symptoms or have been exposed, so the positive rate is high from that factor.  Minnesota gets an A for data quality.

But now look at the note at the bottom.  Minnesota stop providing negative test numbers on March 22nd.  Why would the state do that?  So the percentage positive, low as it already is, is too high and misleading because all the negatives aren’t included in the denominator.  I am sorry, but it is just impossible to believe that this just happened to occur shortly before the Governor issues his order and gives his press conference.  Maybe there is some other reasonable explanation, but I can’t imagine what it could be.  You can report positive results but not negative ones?   Let’s see if the local paper asks any questions about this.

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