Despite Minnesota’s stay at home order that is slated to last at least 53 days, the state still has a higher rate of death from COVID-19 than its neighbors who haven’t taken such dramatic action.
Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota have all refrained from issuing a stay at home order amidst the coronavirus pandemic. These states have a death rate per 100,000 residents of 6, 3 and 2 respectively. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s death rate per 100,000 is 7— earning it spot 22 of 50 in a ranking of all 50 states by death rate, according to Statistica.
America has suffered around 67,800 deaths reportedly due to the coronavirus, most of which have occured in New York which reports 126 deaths per 100,000 citizens. (RELATED: State Senator Claims Minnesota Artificially Inflates COVID-19 Death Count)
“South Dakota is not New York City,” remarked South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem last month, as she explained why her state will not see a stay at home order. “The calls to apply for a one-size-fits-all approach to this problem is herd mentality. It’s not leadership.”
Noem is not against the idea of social distancing, she just believes that it’s not the role of government to tell people if they should stay inside or not. “The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety,” she says. “They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms. They’re free to exercise their rights to work, to worship, and to play. Or to even stay at home, or to conduct social distancing.”
While South Dakota has refrained from issuing a stay at home order, its schools have closed for the remainder of the academic year. Some businesses have closed as well, but these shutdowns are not as sweeping and absolute as the ones Walz ordered in Minnesota.
Similarly, North Dakota chose not to extend its business shutdowns last week, allowing bars, restaurants and gyms to resume business shortly after Walz extended Minnesota’s economic shutdowns for the second time.
Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynold also moved to relax some restrictions on the economy with an eye towards reopening her state, Wednesday.
Amidst such moves back to normalcy, critics claim mathematical models prove that relaxed restrictions will lead to more deaths. However, these models have been wildly inaccurate in the past as the statisticians who create them lack critical knowledge and data that is usually required to make a faithful prediction. For this reason, epidemiologists from Harvard, the University of Washington and other institutions warn that the models should not be used to guide policy decisions.