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Live updates: MDH warns of increasing COVID outbreaks in the workplace

Here are the latest COVID-19 case numbers, trends and developments in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Credit: KARE
This chart tracks the number of new cases reported each day by MDH.

ST PAUL, Minn. —

Monday, Sept. 28

  • MDH warns of increasing COVID clusters, outbreaks in workplaces
  • Minnesota health officials reported 936 new COVID-19 cases and seven new deaths.
  • The number of people reported in the hospital increased by five since yesterday, with two of those patients in the ICU.
  • The CDC released recommendations for celebrating Thanksgiving during the pandemic. 

2 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is warning that COVID-19 cases are increasing among workplaces and social gatherings across the state.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Monday on a regular briefing call with media that there have been 29 case clusters in businesses regulated by the Department of Agriculture. Those clusters, defined as three or more cases, are in places like processing plants, grocery stores and bakeries, among others.

There have been 40 clusters and outbreaks in meat processing plants, 182 in manufacturing plants and 246 in general businesses of all types, Ehresmann said.

MDH is also seeing more and more cases in people between the ages of 20 and 40, which Ehresmann said officials are associating with working-age Minnesotans.

Ehresmann said when it comes to workplace outbreaks, often one person gets exposed outside of work but then brings it into their workplace.

"Bringing the virus into the workplace means you could be exposing a colleague who could get very sick,” she said.

In addition to other businesses, bars and restaurants have had 47 outbreaks, according to MDH.

Weddings, funerals and other social gatherings also continue to be a source of COVID transmission in Minnesota. There have been 37 outbreaks associated with weddings, 11 with funerals and 22 with gyms, Ehresmann said Monday.

One Minnesota funeral led to 39 cases including one person hospitalized, Ehresmann said.

One large wedding that took place recently in Minnesota is associated with 11 cases and two people in the hospital, according to Ehersmann. She said that was an outdoor wedding.

"Being outdoors is not a substitute for safe practices," Ehresmann said.

Social distance and masks are also important, she said.

"We're seeing more and more instances where we have large groups gathering together with little or no social distancing and no masks, and all of those events are contributing to our case numbers," Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann pointed out that there's a ripple effect from each of those events, where every person who contracts COVID-19 goes back into the community and may infect more people.

"We're seeing that building, cumulative effect of lots of cases from clusters, as well as the ripple effect of all those cases," she said.

When asked about President Donald Trump's upcoming visits to Duluth and Minneapolis on Wednesday, and the risks of political campaign rallies in general, Ehresmann said that regardless of the purpose, gatherings have the potential for COVID-19 transmission.

Ehresmann said MDH is asking any members of the public who plan to attend such events to observe public health guidance while doing so.

11 a.m. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 936 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday.

This brings the total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began to 97,638.

MDH says seven Minnesotans have died of complications from the virus during the past day, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 2,015.

To date, 7,546 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 2,111 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 87,330 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 20-24 account for the most cases with 13,346 cases and one death, and those ages 25-29 follow with 9,602 cases and three deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group at 346 out of
1,311 confirmed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 25,188 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 22,235 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 11,837 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting, 1,437 were in a corrections setting, and 351 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 8,648 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 8,709 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 3,272 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

MDH has prioritized testing for people in congregate care, hospitalized patients and health care workers, which may impact the scale of those numbers. However, now MDH is urging anyone who is symptomatic to be tested. Testing locations can be found online.

Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 27,372 cases with 932 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 11,088 cases and 322 deaths. Dakota County reports 7,635 cases and 126 deaths.

The CDC released recommendations for celebrating Thanksgiving this year. It lists "lower risk," "moderate risk," and "high risk" activities. Its lower risk activities include having a Thanksgiving dinner with only the people you live with, keeping larger celebrations virtual and shopping online instead of in person the next day. 

Sunday, Sept. 27

2 p.m.

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services reported 2,217 new cases Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases statewide to 115,862 since the pandemic started.

Health officials announced no new deaths on Sunday. The total number of fatalities statewide is 1,281. The total number of fatalities is approximately 1.1% of those testing positive for the virus.

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 1,077 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

This brings the total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began to 96,734.

MDH says four Minnesotans have died of complications from the virus during the past day, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 2,008.

To date, 7,493 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 2,095 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 86,252 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 20-24 account for the most cases with 13,252 cases and one death, and those ages 25-29 follow with 9,509 cases and three deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group at 346 out of
1,297 confirmed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 24,846 cases were the result of community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 21,982 had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case.

A total of 11,763 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting, 1,431 were in a corrections setting, and 351 were in a homeless shelter. MDH data shows 8,648 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 8,628 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 3,242 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

MDH has prioritized testing for people in congregate care, hospitalized patients and health care workers, which may impact the scale of those numbers. However, now MDH is urging anyone who is symptomatic to be tested. Testing locations can be found online.

Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 27,177 cases with 931 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 10,985 cases and 320 deaths. Dakota County reports 7,585 cases and 126 deaths.

Saturday, Sept. 26

2 p.m.

Wisconsin's Department of Health Services reported 2,817 new cases Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases statewide to 113,645 since the pandemic started.

Health officials announced seven new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of fatalities statewide to 1,281. The total number of fatalities is approximately 1.1% of those testing positive for the virus.

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 7,041 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 6.2% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 26% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 15% are between 30 and 39, 14% are between 50 and 59, and 13% are 40 to 49. An estimated 13% are between 10 and 19, and 9% are between 60 and 69.

As of Saturday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of cases with 28,260 along with 528 deaths. Dane County has reported 9,488 cases and 41 deaths, and Brown County has reported 8,778 cases and 62 deaths.

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

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 1,478 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

This brings the total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began to 95,659.

MDH says 10 Minnesotans have died of complications from the virus during the past day, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 2,004.

MDH is also announcing a change in the way the department will be reporting daily COVID-19 hospitalizations. Instead of sharing the current number of patients hospitalized each day, MDH will now report daily new patient admissions, both for general care and ICU. On Saturday the department reported 25 new COVID-19 admissions in hospitals across the state, with 20 requiring ICU care. To date 7,443 Minnesotans have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 2,085 of them needing care in the ICU.

MDH reports that 85,259 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 20-24 account for the most cases with 13,143 cases and one death, and those ages 25-29 follow with 9,416 cases and three deaths. Those between 85 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group at 345 out of
1,277 confirmed cases.

Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 26,960 cases with 930 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 10,911 cases and 320 deaths. Dakota County reports 7,524 cases and 126 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.