MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz mulls the possibility of making face masks mandatory during the COVID-19 pandemic, state health officials have announced 589 more confirmed cases and five more deaths Thursday.
The additional five deaths — four of them being patients in long-term care (LTC) facilities — bring the state’s death toll to 1,490. A majority of those deaths have been in LTC, which has been hit hard during the pandemic.
For hospitalizations, there are 251 patients currently needing treatment, with 116 of those being in intensive care units — the lowest ICU number since April.
There are now over 40,000 cases confirmed in the state (40,163), but health officials continue to say that the data is “not representative of the total number of people in Minnesota who have or had COVID-19” because not all suspected cases are tested.
Thursday marked the day completed tests in the state breached 700,000. In the past 24 hours, about 12,500 tests have been completed. The state now has the capacity for 20,000 tests a day.
So far, 35,193 patients have recovered and no longer need isolation.
For most people, COVID-19 symptoms are mild, such as fever and coughing. However, the disease, which attacks the lungs, can be deadly to the elderly and those with underlying issues.