MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) on Wednesday reported 56 new deaths from COVID-19 — an all-time daily high since the pandemic began. Health officials also reported 4,900 new cases.
The state’s death toll now sits at 2,754, with 1,898 of those being in long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of the additional deaths, 38 involved patients in long-term care facilities. The ages of the deceased in the last 24 hours ranged from those in their 50s to those 100+ years old.
“Yesterday we lost 56 Minnesotans – more deaths than we’ve seen since the start of COVID-19,” Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday. “I know you’re tired of this pandemic. We all are. But those 56 families can’t get their loved ones back. We can’t give up the fight.”
The state is now nearing 200,000 positive cases confirmed since the pandemic began — 16,636 of those cases being among health care workers. Over 150,000 people who contracted the virus no longer need to quarantine.
In hospitals, 12,151 people have needed treatment so far, with 3,032 of those needing intensive care units. According to the state’s COVID-19 Response Capacity dashboard, there are 282 patients with COVID in the ICU and 1,017 needing non-ICU beds in hospitals, as of Nov. 10.
In an MPR interview early Wednesday morning, Gov. Tim Walz said that health officials would be reporting the record-high deaths and a positivity rate of more than 20%. However, due to technical difficulties, testing data has not yet been updated at its usual time on Wednesday, MDH said.
In the last week, the state has been averaging more than 30,000 tests per day. As of the last update, more than 2 million people in Minnesota have been tested so far, with about 44,000 of those tests being antigen tests.
According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, the latest seven-day rolling average positivity rate is at 12% as of Nov. 2, due to data lag.
The update comes a day after the governor issued a warning to Minnesotans that the state is approaching the worst phase of the pandemic and that conditions will get dramatically worse unless people start changing their behavior. He said it won’t be unusual for people to open their newspapers and see 50 to 60 new deaths.
“This is just inevitable if we do not change our behaviors and take some mitigation efforts, this will continue to spike.” Walz told MPR.
Minnesota’s previous record was 36 deaths, reported on Friday.
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The governor on Tuesday announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the accelerating spread of the coronavirus. Bars and restaurants must stop serving at 10 p.m., but can still offer takeout and delivery, and attendance at weddings, funerals and social gatherings will be limited.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, we’ve asked Minnesotans to make unprecedented sacrifices for the greater good. And they’ve done it. Because when times are tough, Minnesotans pull together,” Walz said in an address to Minnesotans Tuesday. “Each step of the way, we’ve followed the best data available. These targeted, science-based actions will help get the spread of the virus under control so that we can care for those who fall ill, get our kids in the classroom, keep our businesses open, and get back to the activities we love.”
Walz pointed out that over 70% of COVID-19 outbreaks in Minnesota from June to November have have been linked to weddings, private social gatherings, and late nights at bars and restaurants.
As for Thanksgiving, Walz said he traditionally has 24 members of his extended family, but this year it will only be he, his wife and his two children. While technically violating parts of the order would be a misdemeanor, Walz said that there aren’t going to be officers going door-to-door to check.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Source: CBS Minnesota