Saturday’s Update Will Contain Data From Thursday And FridayBy WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota health officials on Friday reported that there were 5,704 additional COVID-19 cases and 101 more deaths as of Wednesday. It’s the first time the state has breached 100 in newly reported deaths.

The data is as of Wednesday due to observation of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will also be releasing Thursday’s and Friday’s data collectively on Saturday. Therefore, newly reported case and death numbers may appear greater than normal on Saturday.

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The new data from Wednesday brings the state’s death toll to 3,476, with 2,355 being in long-term care. Sixty-five of the 101 additional deaths involved someone at a long-term care or group home situation.

While most of the additional deaths were elderly patients, one of the newly reported deaths involved someone in their mid-20s.

“We Must Redouble Our Efforts”

Gov. Tim Walz issued a statement in response to the record number in new deaths.

“This Thanksgiving, many Minnesotans set their holiday table smaller than they normally do. Many chose to do so to protect their family from the spread of COVID-19. But for the more than 3,000 families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, it wasn’t a choice. Those chairs will always remain empty,” he said. “As we hit this somber milestone, we owe those families a promise. We must promise them that their loved ones did not die in vain. We must honor them by fighting this virus at every turn. We must redouble our efforts to protect one another.”

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm called the record in newly reported deaths a “sad development”, but not a surprising one.

“For weeks we have been sounding the alarm about the dramatic growth in COVID-19 cases. We know that more cases leads to more hospitalizations and deaths, and today’s news reinforces that tragic pattern,” she said.

Malcolm says every public activity is now more risky than it was even a few weeks ago, so the best way to slow the spread is to stay home.

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“This is painful and frustrating, but every day we get closer to having safe and effective vaccines that should help resolve this crisis. We anxiously await that day, and until then we all must do our part to ensure that all of our loved ones, friends and neighbors can celebrate those days with us,” she said.

POSITIVE INDICATORS?

According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has decreased from its highest point of 15.4% on Nov. 11 down to 13.8% on Nov. 17, which is the most recent data point due to data lag.

Also, daily new cases per 100,000 residents also decreased slightly from its highest peak of 122.7 cases on Nov. 10 to 115.9 on Nov. 17.

The hospitalization rate, however, continues to increase, according to the most recent data. All three categories remain in the “high risk” status.

MORE DATA

Total cases in the state is now at 295,001. Nearly 22,000 cases have been found amongst health care workers; 244,982 people who have contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine.

The state’s health system continues to strain with more COVID-19 patients being admitted for treatment.

According to MDH data as recent as Nov. 24, there are 387 patients with the virus needing ICU beds and an additional 1,454 patients needing non-ICU beds. That’s a total of 1,812 patients currently needing treatment for the virus in the state. Both ICU and non-ICU bed use for COVID-19 patients continues to reach levels not seen before in the state, and have increased since mid-September. There were about 271 patients being treated for COVID-19 on Sept. 15.

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As for testing, over 55,000 tests were completed on Wednesday. A total of 2.4 million people have been tested in the state so far.