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Live updates: Minnesota hits new records in daily COVID-19 cases, current hospitalizations

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

ST PAUL, Minn. — Thursday, Oct. 29 

  • Along with a single-day high in cases, MDH reports 32 deaths
  • Hospitalizations rise to 685 in Minnesota, a 'high-water mark'
  • Case surge beginning to reach long-term care facilities
  • MDH encourages low-risk activities for Halloween
  • State plans COVID testing push for 18 to 35-year-olds

2 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) held a regular briefing call on Thursday, shortly after reporting a record-high number of COVID-19 cases in a single day.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the 2,872 new cases confirmed in the past day is on a testing volume of just under 27,800 tests.

“Obviously this new case total eclipses the record that we just set last week,” Malcolm said.

It’s also the fourth day of over 2,000 cases this month.

“The way things are going I’m sorry to say that I don’t think that record’s going to hold for very long,” Malcolm said. “It appears that 2,000 or more is becoming our new norm and I think we need to brace ourselves for greater totals yet to come.”

The current number of hospitalizations sits at 685 in Minnesota, a "high-water mark" for the state thus far in the pandemic.

The seven-day test positivity rate is now 6.8%, and Malcolm said because of the lag time, that number will certainly increase in the coming days.

"We do know that some of those indicators are heading still further up in the coming week," Malcolm said. "We've done some various looks at what different levels of case growth translate to in terms of later hospitalization and mortality. ... That's part of why we are urging so strenuously that as a community we need to do everything we can to stabilize these numbers and drive them down from here."

The commissioner pointed out that the growth in cases is driven by small decisions that Minnesotans make every day.

“These small everyday gatherings and activities are leading to infections that are then spreading,” Malcolm said.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the high case rates are putting “tremendous pressure” on long-term care facilities in Minnesota. She said there were 186 new cases in those facilities on Tuesday alone.

“This shows that even with the good work that’s taken place, even with the flood walls we’ve put up, if the waters rise high enough, we’ll still have big problems,” Ehresmann said.

Ehresmann called attention to the fact that those decisions made by everyday Minnesotans are affecting the safety of the state’s health care workers, and their ability to stay healthy to treat COVID patients.

“Chances are that it’s far less than six degree of separation between the people that you know, and someone who’s working in a health care setting,” Ehresmann said.

11 a.m.

Numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect a new single-day high in cases of COVID-19 across the state.

MDH reports an additional 2,872 cases recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the state's total to 142,311 since the start of the pandemic. Those new cases are based on 27,769 tests (PCR and antigen combined) processed in private and state labs. 

Single-day case numbers have topped 2,000 in Minnesota just three other times, all of them in October. 

An additional 32 people died from the coronavirus in the past day, bringing Minnesota's fatalities to 2,419. Of those deaths 1,689, or 70% of them, occurred in long-term care or assisted living settings. 

MDH records indicate there have been only two days with more than 30 deaths reported since June, Thursday and Oct. 21. The spikes in both deaths and cases reflect the concern voiced recently by state health officials and the governor that Minnesota is trending in a very dangerous direction with COVID-19.

Credit: KARE

Total hospitalizations for the virus have reached 9,991, with 2,642 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. MDH reports that 124,379 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered to the point that they no longer require isolation. 

People between 20 and 24 now account for 17,575 cases, the most of any age group by a significant margin. Those from 25 to 29 number 13,827 cases with three deaths, and 30 to 34-year-olds comprise 12,564 cases with nine fatalities. 

The largest number of deaths, 427 of them from just 1,916 confirmed cases, involves patients between the ages of 85 and 89. 

Hennepin County has the most COVID activity with 35,484 cases and 995 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 14,726 cases and 372 fatalities. Dakota County reports 10,271 cases and 139 deaths. 

Cook County in northeast Minnesota has the least COVID activity with 19 cases since the pandemic started, followed by Lake of the Woods County with 44 cases. 

Wednesday, Oct. 28

2 p.m.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said there are 71 wedding-related outbreaks in Minnesota, and a person who attended one of them has died from COVID-19.

Malcolm said that everybody needs to adhere to safety regulations not just the majority because that's not enough.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Minnesotans should do low-risk Halloween activities like carving pumpkins, a scavenger hunt in your own household, virtual costume contest or Halloween movie night.

Regular trick-or-treating or indoor haunted houses are high-risk activities and Minnesotans are discouraged from participating in these activities.

Ehresmann said that getting together with a group of people outside your household is much riskier now than it was one month ago because COVID-19 is in our communities. She said Minnesotans should also avoid crowds and make sure they are social distancing while voting.

11 a.m.

Wednesday marks another day with new COVID-19 cases around the 2,000 mark, according to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). 

State health officials say 1,916 cases were confirmed by results from 17,976 PCR and Antigen tests processed by private and state labs. That brings Minnesota's confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic to 139,444. 

An additional 19 people have died from coronavirus, bringing state fatalities to 2,387. Of those deaths 1,669, or 70% of them occurred in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Credit: KARE

Total hospitalizations from COVID-19 now sit at 9,855, with 2,609 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. MDH says 123,529 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

People between the ages of 20 and 24 comprise Minnesota's largest group of cases by a significant margin, with 17,336 and one death. Those from 25 to 29 account for 13,555 cases and three fatalities, while 15 to 19-year-olds make up 12,344 cases and zero deaths.

The largest grouping of fatalities involves 85 to 89-year-olds, with 420 deaths from that age group in just 1,873 confirmed cases. 

Hennepin County reports the most COVID activity with 34,988 cases and 995 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 14,471 cases and 364 fatalities. Dakota County has registered 10,132 total cases and 138 deaths.

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota reports the least COVID activity with 18 cases, followed by Lake of the Woods with 45.

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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