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Live updates: MN, WI break daily COVID-19 cases, Twin Cities ICU beds 98% full

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

ST PAUL, Minn. — Wednesday, Nov. 4

  • Minnesota hits second consecutive high in cases with 3,844 Wednesday
  • Wisconsin state health officials report new single-day high in cases with 5,935
  • Wisconsin officials issue plea after another case record
  • Inmate at Stillwater Prison dies of COVID-19
  • School districts revisit learning models as COVID spikes
  • Case surge beginning to reach long-term care facilities
  • MDH officials report ICU beds in the metro are at 98% in use and 92% in greater Minnesota

2 p.m.

ICU capacity in the metro is at 98% in use and statewide ICU capacity is at 92% in use, according to MDH officials.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Minnesota is on its fourth day of hitting more than 3,000 cases and should brace for hitting 4,000 cases daily.

The positivity rate is now 9.2% up from around 6%, Malcolm said.

"We are falling behind the rapid spread of this virus," Malcolm said.

A significant number of the new cases falls in people ages 18-35, and they are dismissing symptoms or confusing them with other causes rather than COVID-19, Malcolm said.

"Gathering in a group of people is dangerous right now," Malcolm said.

The level of the virus circulating in Minnesota communities is very high and the spread of the virus is happening in friend gatherings.

Mail saliva testing is expected to be available in Minnesota in the next week.

Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said that deer hunters should still be cautious and keep their masks on while outside and reminded them that shelters are indoors, which poses a risk for spread.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported its highest single-day number of coronavirus cases with 5,935 and 54 new deaths. It's the third deadliest day in the state since the pandemic began. Wisconsin's total deaths have surged to 2,156 statewide.

11 a.m.

For the second consecutive day, Minnesota COVID-19 cases have surged into record territory. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 3,844 new cases of the virus were recorded during the last 24-hour reporting period, pushing the state's total positive cases to 160,923 since the beginning of the pandemic. Those new cases are based on 32,775 tests (both PCR and Antigen) processed in private and state labs. MDH says 1,944 of those were Antigen tests, which confirm "probable" cases. 

Another 31 Minnesotans have lost their lives to the virus in the past day, bringing the total of fatalities to 2,530. It is the 10th day that deaths have met or exceeded the 30 mark. Of the total deaths 1,760, or 70% of them are associated with assisted living or long-term care settings. 

Credit: KARE

Total hospitalizations related to the virus have now reached 10,849 since the start of the pandemic, with 2,805 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. State health officials say 136,457 people who at one time tested positive for coronavirus have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

MDH data indicates both general hospital bed use and ICU bed use hit their highest mark since Aug. 1, and hospital admissions remain elevated.   

Credit: KARE

Those between the ages of 20 and 24 make up the largest group of Minnesota's COVID cases by a significant margin, with 19,360 and one death, while 24 to 29-year-olds account for 15,594 cases and three fatalities. 

The largest grouping of deaths involves people between 85 and 89, with 450 in 2,144 confirmed cases. 

Hennepin County has experienced the most COVID activity with 38,911 cases and 1,009 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 16,189 cases and 388 fatalities. Dakota County reports 11,435 cases and 141 deaths. 

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota has the least COVID activity with 30 cases and zero deaths, followed by Lake of the Woods County with 56 cases and one death. 

Tuesday Nov. 3

2 p.m. 

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 5,771 new cases on Tuesday, another single-day record, bringing the total number of confirmed cases statewide to 238,067.

Health officials reported 52 new deaths on Tuesday as the total number of fatalities statewide surged to 2,102. That marks the third deadliest day in Wisconsin since the pandemic began. The total number of fatalities is approximately 0.9% of those testing positive for the virus.  

In a post on the department's Twitter feed, DHS confirmed that 5,771 new cases is another single-day high in a recent string of them, adding that with a confirmed death in Menominee County, 71 of Wisconsin's 72 counties statewide have registered fatalities. 

"Please help us #StopTheSpread," the department pleaded. 

Also on Tuesday, the 10th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers canceled Saturday's football game with Purdue as COVID-19 cases within the team continue to rise. School officials announced Tuesday that three more players and two additional staffers have tested positive since Saturday. That brings the program’s total number of active cases to 27. The total includes 15 players and 12 staffers.

The Badgers also canceled last week's game against Nebraska due to the outbreak.  

Due to high case numbers, Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order mandating indoor face coverings that began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Evers extended the mask mandate until Nov. 21.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 Gov. Evers' administration issued a new order limiting the size of public indoor gatherings to 25% of capacity, to stem the spread of COVID-19. That order was struck down on Oct. 13 by a judge in Sawyer County. The order was reinstated on Oct. 19 by a Barron County judge, but on Oct. 23, a Wisconsin appeals court put a hold on the order.

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 11,844 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 5% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.  

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 21% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 16% are between 30 and 39, 15% are between 50 and 59, and 14% are 40 to 49. An estimated 11% are between 10 and 19, and 10% are between 60 and 69.

As of Tuesday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of cases with 44,945 along with 599 deaths. Dane County has reported 16,768 cases and 49 deaths, while Brown County has 16,558 cases and 103 deaths.

A more detailed breakdown of cases by county can be found on the DHS website.

RELATED: North Dakota legislature candidate who died from COVID-19 wins election

11 a.m. 

Numbers released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) show 3,483 additional Minnesotans were confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, a new single-day high in cases, and 15 people have died due to the virus the past day.

The previous single-day high in cases was 3,155, reported on Oct. 30.

These numbers bring the cumulative positive case count to 157,096 and the total deaths to 2,499.

After hearing Tuesday's numbers, Governor Tim Walz doubled down on his call for Minnesotans to continue taking proven precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The virus takes no days off. While many are focused today on the election, COVID-19 is continuing its merciless spread across our state,” said Governor Walz in a released statement. “I’ve said from the beginning the virus’ spread will dictate our course and we are well into a dark chapter in the story of this pandemic. It is more important than ever that Minnesotans heed the advice of Dr. Birx and every other person who knows something about infection control – wear a mask, avoid crowds, keep distance from others, and take advantage of the many testing opportunities we have all over the state to find out your status.” 

Of Minnesota's 157,096 total coronavirus cases, 134,227 of them no longer need to be in isolation, according to MDH.

The cumulative total of people admitted to the hospital since the start of the pandemic is 10,647 and 2,760 of them were admitted to the ICU.

Patients ages 20-24 continue to have the highest number of cases with 18,999 and one death.

Patients ages 85-89 have the highest number of deaths with 2,109 cases and 445 deaths.

Hennepin County reports the most COVID activity with 38,272 cases and 1,006 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 15,853 cases and 384 deaths. Dakota County reports 11,184 cases and 141 fatalities.

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