MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials are reporting the third straight day of daily COVID-19 cases over 7,000. Meanwhile, the state’s death toll is nearing 3,000. It’s an alarming stage of the pandemic that is prompting health officials to urge adherence to safety restrictions set in place.
On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released its latest COVID-19 statistics, reporting 7,444 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state’s total cases to 231,018 since the pandemic began. Nearly 180,000 people who have contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine themselves.
MORE: MDH’s COVID-19 Data
MDH also reported 12 more deaths, with four of the deceased being in long-term care facilities. The state’s death toll is now at 2,917, with just over 2,000 of the deaths being among those in LTC or assisted living facilities, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
MONDAY’S GRIM DAILY BRIEFING
Rising cases and hospitalizations are worrying health experts, with state health officials saying that Minnesota’s infection rate for COVID-19 is among the worst in the world.
During a briefing Monday, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm called the numbers “terrifying” and urged people to spend Thanksgiving with only their immediate households. They also urged college students to not come home for Thanksgiving.
“There is no second line. Their(first responders) only front line is you” says @GovTimWalz as he pleads for adherence to guidelines to protect and help overwhelmed front line medical personnel
— esme murphy (@esmemurphy) November 16, 2020
MDH’s update comes following a record-breaking weekend for daily COVID-19 cases. On Saturday, the health department reported over 8,700 new cases, which is the highest daily cases count the state has seen so far. Another 7,000-plus cases were reported Sunday.
Gov. Tim Walz said Monday that it’s “obvious” more mitigation measures will be needed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last week, new restrictions went into place on bars, restaurants and social gatherings.
Walz says more information on possible restrictions for youth sports could come “in the next day or two.”
From @GovTimWalz: clarified guidance coming in the next day or two about high school and youth athletics—MSHSL has deferred decision-making for now. MDH Commissioner suggests there should be a pause/play from a health standpoint, but the conversation is ongoing.
— Norman Seawright III, M.S. 👟 (@SeawrightSays) November 16, 2020
According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota has seen its daily new cases per 100,000 residents, a seven-day average, increase dramatically since mid-October. It’s at 77 cases per 100,000 as of Nov. 4, up from 27 per 100,000 reported on Oct. 19.
Hospitals are also becoming strained as more and more ICU beds and non-ICU beds are being filled by COVID-19 patients. There are 1,234 patients with COVID-19 needing hospitalization and an additional 324 patients with COVID-19 needing intensive care units, as of Nov. 15. That’s nearly seven times as many COVID-19 patients in Minnesota hospitals compared to three months ago. Four times as many patients are in intensive care units in the same time frame.
Since the pandemic began, 13,251 people have needed hospitalization for COVID-19, with 3,203 of those patients needing intensive care units.
Testing capacity continues to expand statewide, with the MDH reporting another day of more than 50,000 tests completed in the last 24 hours. About 2.17 million people have been tested in the state overall.
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