Changing Hospitalization & Death Rates

By July 23, 2020 Commentary

I mentioned in an earlier post today that death and hospitalization rates were down.  Here is what has happened with hospitalization rates and death rates over time in Minnesota.  The CDC estimates that there is median 3-4 day lag between symptom development and hospitalization and a median two week lag between symptom development and death.  Assuming that most cases are identified from testing based on symptoms, we can look at number of cases on a day, track hospitalizations a few days later and deaths a couple of weeks later and see how that rate may be changing.  We could also just look at cumulative numbers and see how those change over time.  So I started in the first week with meaningful deaths, went back two weeks for case numbers and back ten days for hospitalizations.

Recall that Minnesota is giving us deaths by day of report, if we had up-to-date day of death numbers we would see higher ratios back further in time and lower ones now.  And these are cumulative rates, the recent weeks alone will be lower.  For example, just looking at the last week of the analysis, there were 38 more deaths, 198 more hospitalizations and 3308 more cases, so the hospitalization rate was at 5.9% and the death rate at 1.1% on that batch of cases.  Remember also as you look at these numbers that in actuality there are probably ten times more cases, according to the state, than have been detected by testing.  So divide all these rates by ten to get the more likely ratios.  The most recent week then is a hospitalization rate of .59% and the death rate is .11%.

The picture is clear, both hospitalization and death rates are on a steady decline as a function of cases. (I transposed death and hospitalization rates on April 10, corrected table coming.)

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