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Live updates: MDH: Most COVID-19 clusters are coming from bars, restaurants

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

ST PAUL, Minn. — Wednesday, July 29

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb, highest since late June
  • Minneapolis school board tables distance learning plan
  • Districts await Thursday decision on schools 
  • People can be infectious 48 hours before showing symptoms
  • MDH said most COVID-19 clusters are coming from bars and restaurants
  • Frey announced the closure of indoor bar areas
  • Gov. Tim Walz highlighted the distribution of 4 million masks 

4 p.m.

Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan said the state is distributing more then 4 million masks to businesses, their customers, and people who are unable to afford a mask or easily obtain one. 

The masks are being distributed through Chambers of Commerce and community organizations.

“There’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Tim Walz. “We are working to ensure masks are accessible for businesses and Minnesotans throughout the state. I urge everyone to mask up to protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love.”

3:30 p.m.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is closing all indoor service at bar areas in the city due to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and compliance problems at some establishments.

2 p.m.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said hospitalization numbers have been increasing and so is the weekly average case growth, which she calls concerning.

Hospitalizations are expected to increase and this is not just a "blip" in the data, Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann said the ultimate success or failure in COVID-19 comes down to each and every Minnesotan. She said we make that decision every time we choose to mask up or not, socially distance or not and stay home or not. Ehresmann said this directly affects the course of a pandemic.

Ehresmann said that new cases in long term care facilities are mostly coming from staff, which she said is also concerning since there is only so much MDH can do to help if staff are bringing the virus into the facilities.

Ehresmann said that most of the clusters are coming from bars, restaurants and social activities.

Ehresmann said people can be infectious 48 hours before showing symptoms, which is why it is so important for people to wear masks.

11 a.m.

The number of people hospitalized in Minnesota with complications of COVID-19 continues to climb, according to state health officials.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) statistics for the past 24-hour reporting period say 310 people are hospitalized, 143 with complications serious enough to require treatment in the ICU. Both numbers are the highest since the last week of June. 

Cases are up as well, with 681 new Minnesotans testing positive for coronavirus. The new cases are based on 13,481 tests that were processed in private and state labs. In total, 52,947 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic.

Nine more Minnesotans died from complications of the virus, bringing total fatalities to 1,589. Of those deaths, 1,216, or 75% of them, occurred in long-term or assisted living facilities. 

MDH says 46,636 people who at one time tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered enough to no longer require isolation. 

Those between the ages of 20 and 29, described by MDH as the most socially active, make up the largest number of Minnesota's COVID-19 cases with 12,569 and three deaths. People between 30 and 39 account for 9,798 cases and 12 deaths, followed by those ages 40 to 49 with 7,665 cases and 21 deaths. Minnesotans ages 80 to 89 comprise just 1,797 cases, but 536 deaths, 34% of the state's total.

Credit: KARE

Hennepin has the most cases of any county in the state, reporting 16,881 cases and 810 deaths. Ramsey County reports 6,503 cases and 257 deaths, followed by Dakota County with 3,656 cases and 102 fatalities. 

RELATED: Minneapolis school board votes against distance learning resolution

Tuesday, July 28

New numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a month.

Hospitals across the state are currently treating 294 patients for complications of the virus, the most since June 27. Of those patients, 138 have symptoms serious enough to require treatment in the ICU, the most in that category since June 29.

MDH reports 480 new cases of coronavirus in the state, based on 9,081 tests performed in private and state labs. That brings the total number of diagnosed cases in Minnesota since the start of the pandemic to 52,281.

Four more Minnesotans died from the virus in the past day, bringing state fatalities to 1,580. Of those, 1,210, or 77% of the total deaths occurred in long-term or assisted living facilities. 

Health officials say 45,987 of those who at one time tested positive for coronavirus have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

Those between the ages of 20 and 29 continue to make up the largest group of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota with 12,406 and three deaths. People ages 30 to 39 comprise 9,690 cases and 12 deaths, while those in the 80 to 89 age group account for just 1,793 cases but 534 of the deaths. 

Hennepin County has the most cases of any county with 16,661, and reports 808 deaths. Ramsey County has 6,416 cases and 254 deaths, while Dakota County has 3,565 cases and 102 deaths.