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Live updates: Minnesota sees first infant COVID-19 death, CDC investigating

Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Monday, July 20

  • MDH reports first COVID-related death of infant in Minnesota, CDC doing additional analysis
  • Minnesota sees highest ever single-day COVID-19 case count, but may be due to reporting changes
  • UK coronavirus vaccine prompts immune response in early test
  • NFL tells teams training camps will open on time as players voice concern

2 p.m.

State health officials say a 9-month-old who has died from COVID-19 in Minnesota may be one of the youngest victims of the virus in the country.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday that the death appears to be an isolated incident "related to this infant's very specific situation."

"A death involving such a young person is tragic and certainly very unusual," Malcolm said.

Because there is so little data nationwide on COVID-19 deaths in infants, MDH is sending samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for additional analysis. MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said that's because they want any information that's available to be "added to the broader understanding of infant deaths across the country."

"An infant death is devastating and thankfully there have not been a lot of infant deaths in the country, but we want to make sure that we’re understanding as much as we can about this infant’s, the physiological changes that happened with this infant," she said.

The infant died at home and was not hospitalized, according to Ehresmann. The child was in Clay County, but MDH would not provide further details to protect the privacy of the family.

Ehresmann said the child did not have an underlying health condition, and that the medical examiner found two causes of death: upper and lower respiratory tract infection, and a nasal culture that tested positive for COVID-19. The child showed "some of the expected respiratory symptoms" and inflammation in the upper airways, she said.

The infant's death is the first COVID-related death of anyone under 20 years old in Minnesota.

Ehresmann said generally, transmission among children appears to be driven by adults who carry the virus and pass it onto kids, rather than children who are spreading it.

She emphasized that while they are seeing fewer cases in children in general, and fewer severe cases in children, there is much health officials still don't know.

"We don’t really know the underlying sort of long-term impact of a COVID infection on an individual," Ehresmann said. "And so we’re wanting to learn more about that, so even as I talk about the fact that kids tend to have a milder illness, fewer hospitalizations, all of those things, we want to acknowledge that we’re continuing to learn about this illness."

Commissioner Malcolm also clarified that while Monday's reported count of 922 new COVID-19 cases would have been a record high for Minnesota, it followed a transition over to a different data management system. She said that means not all those cases have been vetted, and hat there could be some "abnormalities" in the data over the next couple of days.

11 a.m.

Minnesota health officials are reporting the highest single-day COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began, and the state's youngest death.

On Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 922 new cases of the coronavirus. That's the highest single-day total that's ever been reported in the state.

It's out of a tally of 14,261 tests, which falls above the average of the last two weeks, but not among the highest testing days.

MDH has been warning that as case numbers rise, deaths and hospitalizations will likely rise as well, as younger people who make up a large portion of the cases begin to pass the virus onto higher-risk groups.

On Monday, MDH reported an additional four deaths, bringing the total in the state to 1,545. A death has been reported in the age group of 0-5 years for the first time. KARE 11 has reached out to MDH for more information.

Two hundred forty-seven people are currently hospitalized, with 115 of them in the ICU. Those hospitalization numbers are down slightly from both Saturday and Sunday.

People ages 20-29 still make up the largest group of cases, with 10,865.

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Sunday, July 19

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 737 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday, marking the second-largest single day increase in July. Sunday's numbers bring the total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began to 46,204.

MDH says another three Minnesotans have died of complications from the virus during the past day, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 1,541. 

Minnesota hospitals are currently treating 258 patients for the coronavirus, with 120 of them dealing with symptoms serious enough to require care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 40,001 people once diagnosed with the virus have recovered enough that they no longer require isolation.

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-29 account for the most cases with 10,790 cases and two deaths, and those ages 30-39 follow with 8,612 cases and 11 deaths. Those between 80 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group at 522, out of 1,707 confirmed cases.

Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 14,734, with 802 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 5,687 cases and 248 deaths. Dakota County reports 3,046 cases and 100 deaths.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what businesses are open as the state slowly lifts restrictions. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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