MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As health officials say the state may be seeing the impact of COVID exposure at Thanksgiving gatherings, another 6,337 cases and 75 deaths were reported Saturday.
The new Minnesota Department of Health data brings the state’s cumulative case count to 345,281. A total of 3,920 people have died since March.
The deaths reported Saturday were mostly comprised of people between the ages of 50 and over 100. However, a person between the age of 35 and 39 also died in Ramsey county.
In the past 24 hours, 52,822 COVID tests have been processed. Over 2.6 Minnesotans have been tested for the virus since March. Testing is one of the main strategies for helping Minnesotans fight COVID, and sites continue to open throughout the state.
The number of cases per 100,000 people has declined in the last few weeks from 123.1 on Nov. 11 to 105.8 on Nov. 25. However, any number above 10 is considered a “high risk” category. Community spread also remains high; over 37% of cases do not have any knowledge of where they were exposed to the virus.
The rampant community spread is making its way to long-term care facilities, which have suffered heavily due to the virus. Of the deaths reported Saturday, 43 of them took place in a long-term care facility or group home. On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz and Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm highlighted some of the ways the state is helping those facilities, including training National Guard members as temporary nurse aids and expanding testing for staff and residents.
Hospital and ICU capacity has also reached a critical level due to rising COVID levels. As of Thursday, there were 1,679 people in hospital beds across the state, and 367 in the ICU. A total of 18,059 cases have been hospitalized so far. Mayo Clinic on Friday said they were closing five of their sites in southern Minnesota to help with staffing shortages in other hospitals due to COVID.
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