MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just minutes after Minnesota lawmakers detailed plans to help businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state health officials reported Tuesday 6,423 more cases of the virus and 38 more deaths. Meanwhile, hospitalizations in Minnesota remain at record levels, straining the state’s hospitals and health care workers.
According to the latest Minnesota Department of Health data, the new infections bring the state’s overall COVID-19 case positive tally to nearly 283,000 as the added fatalities lift the death toll to 3,303. Of the most recent deaths, 21 were people in long-term care facilities, the demographic hardest hit by the pandemic. Still, younger Minnesotans are also dying, as one of the latest victims was in their late 30s.
A record 1,800 Minnesotans are currently hospitalized with the virus. As of Monday, 1,449 people were in general care beds while 379 people were in intensive care beds, both record highs. According to health officials, nearly 70% of the state’s ICU beds are currently in use. If COVID-19 cases continue to mount in Minnesota, hospitals and their exhausted staff members could be overwhelmed.
In the last 24 hours, more than 52,000 COVID-19 tests were processed for Minnesotans. In recent weeks, the state has opened several free COVID-19 testing sites, considerably boosting testing capacity. Even so, demand for tests remains high as more and more people are becoming infected. According to the state’s Dial Back Dashboard, Minnesota’s rolling seven-day average test positivity rate is at 14.3% as of Nov. 11. Any rate over 10% puts the state in a “high risk” status.
To curb the spread of the virus, Gov. Tim Walz recently ordered Minnesota bars and restaurants to halt indoor dining, gyms to close and for youth sports to be put on pause for the next four weeks. On Monday, the state also unveiled a new app that helps users figure out if they’ve been exposed to the virus and need to be tested or begin to self-quarantine.
Since the start of the outbreak in March, more than 2.3 million Minnesotans have been tested for COVID-19. Of those who’ve tested positive, nearly 234,000 have recovered and no longer need to self-isolate.
Source: CBS Minnesota