MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday there are currently 469 COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and 137 of them in the ICU for COVID-related complications.

The weekly change in cases was up 9.6%, while test growth was up 7.8%, according to MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

“Despite our really high testing numbers, we’re still not able to catch all the disease that’s out there,” Malcolm said.

Testing has gone up. The state will open a new saliva-testing site in Brooklyn Park this week, and an additional six sites will be opened later this month across the state. MDH expects the state’s testing capacity to double to 60,000 tests a day once all of the new sites are open.

“The test by itself isn’t enough. People need to act on the recommendations that come along with the test results,” Malcolm said.

RELATED: Minnesota Republicans Say Now Is The Time To Open Up The State, Despite Rising COVID-19 Cases

Wisconsin reported more than 3,700 new cases Monday, the same day a Barron County judge ruled to reinstate the state’s order to limit bars and restaurants to 25% occupancy.

Kris Ehresmann, MDH’s director of Infectious diseases, said preventative measures could be more effective than a dial back.

“It’s not that shutting everything down couldn’t have an impact, but the unintended consequences of those kinds of things are really great,” Ehresmann said. “So if we could start by just getting on the same page with masking and social distancing, I think that would really go a long way.”

Malcolm said if cases in Minnesota continue to go up, staffing in hospitals could become an issue to care for patients of all different conditions.

MDH officials advised that if people plan to celebrate the coming holidays, that they keep the gathering small and social distance.

“When we’re talking about things to consider, it is from the standpoint of reducing risk, not eliminating it,” Ehresmann said.

The free COVID saliva-testing site will open in Brooklyn Park Tuesday. Click here for more information.

Kate Raddatz

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