By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials on Wednesday reported 1,082 new COVID-19 cases and 35 more deaths — the largest spike in daily deaths seen since late May.

According to new data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the state’s death toll is now 2,281, with 1,608 of those deaths being in long-term care (LTC) or assisted living situations. Twenty-five of the additional deaths involved someone in LTC.

In hospitals, 105 more people have needed treatment for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, with 22 of those needing intensive care units. In total, 9,147 people have needed hospitalization for the virus since the pandemic began; 2,473 of those patients needed intensive care units.

The additional cases bring the state’s total to 126,591. Of that number, 12,903 cases have been among health care workers. Over 113,000 patients no longer need to quarantine themselves.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm has been noting recently that growth in cases has been increasing in September into October, something that’s especially concerning as the state moves into the winter season.

“This is a big change. For the first time we’re seeing faster growth in cases than in testing. Despite our impressively high test numbers, we’re still not able to catch the disease that’s out there. The case growth is faster than testing growth,” she said during a COVID-19 update.

MDH expects testing capacity to jump to 60,000 a day once saliva testing sites start to open.

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, 15,963 tests have been completed, with 473 of those being antigen tests. Over 2.5 million tests in Minnesota have been completed so far.

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate is around 6% as of Oct. 12, due to data lag. The state had been hovering around 5% during most of September.

Another measure by which authorities are determining the state’s progress is the number of new cases per 100,000 residents. As of now, the Dial Back Dashboard reports that figure is at 26 per 100,000.

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