MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported a significant jump in processed COVID-19 tests, reaching a new one-day high. On Friday, the health department reported that in the previous 24 hours, they’d processed another 5,917 tests. That’s down by about 800, but still well above the 5,000 threshold.
The health department says that in the last day there have been 808 more positive cases of the coronavirus in Minnesota, close to the single-day record, and another 20 deaths, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic up to 683.
To date, 1,702 health care workers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Minnesota. There have also been 8,820 people who have recovered and no longer need to be isolated.
As of Friday, the percentage of COVID-19 related deaths among those who lived in a long-term care or assisted living facility (554) was approximately 81%. State officials have released a five-point plan to help protect residents and workers in long-term care facilities. Also, the Minnesota National Guard has been tasked with assisting long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.
Just under 500 Minnesotans are currently being hospitalized for the disease, with 200 needing intensive care. Nearly 2,000 Minnesotans have needed hospitalization since the outbreak began in March. Over the last two weeks, the number of people in ICU beds has gone up from about 150 to 200 on Friday.
These figures arrive as many Minnesota businesses and stores finalize their plans for reopening under the new “Stay Safe MN” plan unveiled by Gov. Tim Walz earlier this week. The previous stay-at-home order will be allowed to expire on Monday.
Minnesota bars and restaurants have a couple of weeks to plan for a potential re-opening. June 1 is the date Walz gave them to reopen, if they meet state-approved safety plans. The Mall of America on Thursday said that they intend to reopen to customers on that day.
Restaurants say they’ve already been busy putting together their own plans that emphasize social distancing along with employee and customer safety. Some restaurant owners say a good litmus test to see how customers will respond is when the stay-at-home order ends Monday. If more people venture out shopping, they feel more customers will be comfortable dining in.
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