MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The day after Gov. Tim Walz announced his decision on how classes will be held for Minnesota students this fall, state health officials recorded 779 more cases of the coronavirus and six more deaths.
The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 54,463, with more than 47,000 people having recovered.
Currently, 312 people are in Minnesota hospitals battling the disease — an increase of 14 in the last 24 hours. More than half of the patients are in intensive care.
Meanwhile, Minnesota’s COVID-19 death toll has reached 1,600, with the vast majority of fatalities having been patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Of the deaths recorded since Thursday, four were individuals in long-term care; one was in their 20s.
This week, Minnesota surpassed the benchmark of having completed more than a million COVID-19 tests. On Friday, the state added another 15,000 tests to its tally.
As Minnesota is capable of processing up to 20,000 tests each day, health officials are monitoring the state’s positivity rate. According to the “Dial Back Dashboard,” Minnesota’s positivity rate has hovered around 5% since the start of the month.
If the positivity rate were to climb to 15% or surge up 5% over a two-week period, health officials would consider rolling back coronavirus restrictions, as the uptick in positivity rate would likely indicate another outbreak.
On Thursday, Minnesota students, parents and educators got an idea of what classes will be like when they start in the coming weeks. The governor let each district decide on which of three models — in-person classes, distance learning or a hybrid combination of the two — would work best for them.
Minneapolis Public Schools and St. Paul Public Schools both said they would start the school year with distance learning. The state’s largest district, Anoka-Hennepin, said that it will come to a decision next month.