ST PAUL, Minn. — Wednesday, Nov. 18
- Source: Walz to close gyms, inside dining, pause sports as COVID cases spike
- MDH reports 5,102 coronavirus cases Wednesday
- 62 of 87 counties now under distance learning recommendations
- Second death reported in a person between ages 20-24
- Eleven new COVID-19 testing sites to open across Minnesota; mail order testing program now available statewide
- Wisconsin reports single-day high in cases; Gov. Tony Evers extends mask mandate to January 2021
The Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 7,989 new cases Wednesday, the highest number of confirmed cases in a single day since the pandemic began. Health officials also reported 52 new deaths and 283 additional hospitalizations.
In a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Tony Evers extended the statewide mask mandate to January 2021. The mandate was set to expire Saturday.
State health officials released numbers Wednesday reflecting the single deadliest day since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 67 people died of coronavirus in the past 24-hour reporting period, bringing the state total to 3,010. Of those deaths 2,066, or 69% of them, are tied to long-term care or assisted living settings. Records show the previous single-day high in deaths was 56, recorded on Nov. 11.
The regrettable record high in deaths comes on the day Gov. Tim Walz is set to announce a new round of restrictions to deal with Minnesota's skyrocketing COVID case rate. A source says those restrictions will include closing gyms and fitness centers, rolling back on bars and restaurants to allow takeout-only, and pausing high school and youth sports. Those restrictions will reportedly last for at least four weeks.
New cases are down more than 800 from Tuesday, with MDH reporting an additional 5,102 Minnesotans testing positive for the virus. Those new cases were confirmed by 37,026 tests (33,237 PCR, 3,789 Antigen) processed in private and state labs.
A positive PCR test is considered a confirmed case by health officials, while a positive Antigen test is considered a probable case.
The total cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota is now 242,043.
Total hospitalizations since the onset of the pandemic now sit at 13,892, with 3,307 requiring care in the ICU. As of Tuesday Minnesota hospitals were dealing with 1,706 COVID in-patient coronavirus cases, with 355 of those patients in intensive care.
Those ages 20 to 24 continue to make up the state's largest grouping of COVID cases, with 27,725 and two fatalities, followed by people 25 to 29 with 22,853 cases and three deaths. The demographic from 85 to 89 accounts for the largest number of deaths, with 552 in just 3,046 confirmed cases.
Hennepin County has the most COVID activity in the state with 53,486 cases and 1,061 fatalities, followed by Ramsey County with 22,497 cases and 441 deaths. Anoka County reports 17,374 cases and 196 deaths.
Cook County in northeast Minnesota reports the least COVID activity with 48 cases and zero fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. Lake of the Woods County is next with 78 cases and a single death.
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's office confirms the governor will address the state at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to announce additional COVID-19 restrictions across the state. A source tells KARE 11 those restrictions will include shutting down gyms and indoor dining for at least four weeks, and a pause on youth sports.
COVID-19 cases have hit record levels in recent days in Minnesota, and data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows hospitalizations have also reached record levels, with 1,669 total hospitalizations as of Monday, including 346 patients in intensive care beds.
Gov. Tim Walz urged Minnesotans to remember the humanity behind the statistics of people getting infected when considering if they should socialize during the holidays.
Former Republican State Representative Nick Zerwas said he initially thought he had a cold after his son had one, until he started having difficulty breathing and was barely able to stand after walking down a flight of stairs. Zerwas said that he does have a severe heart defect, has undergone multiple open-heart surgeries, and has needed an oxygen level indicator. He spent time in the ICU and his breathing got worse to the point where he needed oxygen support. Zerwas said the virus progressed so fast that he was having an internal debate of whether he would make it out alive if put on a ventilator. Zerwas cited the "amazing care " he received as the reason he has began to recover. "This virus is here, it's spreading rapidly through our community," Zerwas said. "We all have to come together to fight."
Sarah Winston, a mother of a 17-year-old with COVID-19 said her daughter ended up in the ICU after possibly contracting it from a friend. Ella Winston, a dancer who was in excellent physical condition, suffered heart failure and kidney failure. The mother urged people to stay home if they are feeling sick.
Dr. Jon Cole from Hennepin Healthcare said he cancelled travel plans as the pandemic continued to hit. Five days after cancelling, he and his wife developed COVID-19 symptoms and spread it to their children. Cole describes the sickness as a "horrible experience." He said he probably has helped more people by staying home and not going on a trip will having COVID-19 than he has currently while having the privilege of working as a doctor.
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said that her brother had cancer when infected with COVID-19, and had to be buried while everyone was masked up. Flanagan said that those who have underlying conditions still have years to live and the community should not allow COVID to cut those years short. Flanagan urged Minnesotans to skip Thanksgiving gatherings this year so that their table can be full next year.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 5,945 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
This brings the cumulative case count to 236,949 in the state.
Sadly, 26 more Minnesotans died from COVID-19 complications in the last day.
This brings the total death count to 2,943.
There were 31,729 PCR tests completed and 1,813 antigen tests completed in the last day.
Hospitalizations have climbed to 13,594 since the start of the pandemic with
3,247 of them requiring a stay in the ICU.
A total of 186,680 patients no longer require isolation, according to MDH.
People ages 20 to 24 make up the largest grouping of COVID cases with 27,338 and two deaths.
The largest group of deaths involves Minnesotans between 85 and 89, with 540 deaths in just 2,974 cases.
Hennepin County health officials report the most COVID activity with 52,689 cases and 1,055 fatalities, followed by Ramsey County with 22,160 cases and 434 deaths. Anoka County reports 16,981 cases and 193 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.