A Little Help for the Department of Health

By April 29, 2020 Commentary

Two days in a row at the Minnesota daily coronavirus briefing, staff from the Minnesota Department of Health have been unable to answer a very basic question for which information is easily available.  The question is “Isn’t Minnesota’s percentage of deaths in long-term facilities unusually high?”  One person two days in a row has given a completely off-point answer about testing, which obviously has nothing to do with where deaths are occurring.  You have to believe the hemming and hawing is because our proportion of deaths in long-term care facilities is unusually high, in fact the highest in the country.  Last week, I linked to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, and here it is again, to help the DOH staff.  (KFF Report)   That report shows that everywhere long-term care residents account for a disproportionate share of deaths, but nowhere like my home state.  In the 23 states for which the researchers could get data, the average percentage of such deaths was 27%.  In Minnesota it is over 80%.

We can be proud of what a great job we have done in preparing for the coronavirus in the residential settings for our most vulnerable population, especially since who would have thought those might be the places that would be hardest hit.  #noexcuses

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