MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As federal health officials warn states that the risk of COVID-19 infection is at a historic high, health officials in Minnesota are reporting 5,192 more COVID-19 cases and 77 more deaths. It’s the second-highest single-day fatality count the state has seen since the pandemic began.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health’s update Wednesday, the additional cases bring the state’s total case count to 327,477, with 23,731 of those cases being among health care workers; 286,216 people who have contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine.
Forty-four of the 77 newly reported deaths involved a person in a long-term care or assisted living facility. In total, 3,692 people have died so far from the virus, with 2,474 of those being in long-term care situations.
In hospitals, intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity is limited statewide, but the Twin Cities area and south-central Minnesota are seeing the least available beds. Metro ICU capacity is at about 95.5% as of Tuesday. In total, 17,378 people have needed hospitalization for the virus; 3,873 of those needed ICU treatment.
Current ICU and non-ICU beds in use for COVID patients has decreased recently. ICU use dropped from 394 recorded on Monday, to 354 recorded on Tuesday. Non-ICU hospitalizations also decreased from 1,454 recorded Monday to 1,350 recorded Tuesday.
About 2.5 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in Minnesota, with 42,737 being completed in the last 24 hours.
Positivity Rate, Case Growth Show Positive Trends (For Now)
Some data trends that are moving in the right direction, at least according to the most recent data, are the state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate and daily cases per 100,000 residents.
According to the state’s Public Health Risk Measures dashboard, the state’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate has fallen from 15.6% reported on Nov. 10 to 10.9% reported on Nov. 23, which are the latest numbers due to data lag. Health officials say they’d like to see the positivity rate under 5%.
Additionally, daily new cases per 100,000 residents, also a seven-day rolling average, has been declining. On Nov. 11, 123 daily cases per 100,000 residents, which was the highest point seen so far. That figure has dropped to 110.6 daily cases per 100,000 residents on Nov. 23, also the latest numbers due to data lag.
However, health officials have been warning that Thanksgiving travel and people visiting with others not in their immediate households could lead to surging cases in December.
White House Task Force Issues Warnings, Additional Advice
In dramatic escalation Wednesday, the White House coronavirus task force issued dire warnings to states, saying that the risk of infection to all Americans is at a “historic high.”
The task force is urging public health officials to circumvent state and local policies amid record high cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as fears of a surge upon a surge following Thanksgiving.
Some of the advice offered in the report is that anyone over 65 years old or someone who has significant health conditions should not enter any indoor public space where anyone is unmasked — and they should have groceries and medications delivered.
Also, the report says that if anyone under 40 years old who gathered beyond their immediate household should assume they became infected with COVID-19, so they should isolate themselves from anyone at increased risk and get tested immediately.