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What data did Gov. Walz use to predict the coronavirus' effect on MN?

State models show with mitigation, MN will reach current ICU capacity by June 7 and peak epidemic by June 28.

MINNEAPOLIS — Governor Tim Walz's presentation Wednesday when announcing the shelter in place order relied on data from models put together by the U of M's School of Public Health. 

"We use the best data possible. We model that data, then we back-plan with a plan to get there," Walz said.

The model showing a scenario where Minnesota does nothing was alarming.

"If we just let this thing run its course and did nothing, upwards of 74,000 Minnesotans could be killed by this," Walz said.

But Gov. Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm say they used variables to determine the impact of coronavirus on Minnesota.

Those variables are: 

  • ICU capacity
  • Contact rate between people
  • How transmissible is the virus

Using that data, Walz says with the social distancing and the two week stay at home order, Minnesota will reach peak ICU capacity June 7th, and the epidemic will peak the last week of June .

"You're still going to get the same results, just at a later time," Walz said.

Walz says the data show it's too late to "flatten the curve," and Minnesota needs to buy enough time to get the ventilators needed to treat people who need intensive care. 

That's what will reduce deaths.

On Thursday, Walz said the models can change based on how Minnesotans avoid contact. But he was comfortable enough with the data to base his big decisions on it.

"A lot of states are making these decisions without those tools, they're using their best judgment, I do feel a sense of confidence this is showing a pattern and potential way to reduce the deaths, and that's what we're using," Walz said.

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