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LIVE UPDATES: MDH updates coronavirus deaths to 12, positive cases to 629

Here's what you need to know about the fight to slow the spread of coronavirus in Minnesota.

Tuesday March 31

3:45 p.m.

The University of Minnesota has announced that summer classes will be online only because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

University President Joan Gabel made the announcement in a system-wide email Monday.

“While we manage through the immediate concerns and challenges presented by COVID-19, my leadership team and I are also considering plans for the intermediate and long-term future,” Gabel said in the statement.

The Minnesota Daily reports the decision comes as university students enter the third week of online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines.

According to the email, while the move to online classes applies to all university students, individual campuses will communicate with students this week about plans specific to their campus.

The university earlier postponed all commencements.

2 p.m.

Governor Tim Walz is encouraging people to continue practicing social distancing. He said the crowds outside are too big especially around the lakes.

Walz signed two executive orders. The first gives an extension for license renewals for first responders to continue doing their jobs.The second order allows the continuation of the medical cannabis program and allows curbside delivery. 

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said emergency rooms and hospitals need to prioritize homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters in testing along with long term care facilities.

Malcolm said officials are working on how to treat patients in long term facilities and avoid hospital transfers in order to stop transferring the virus.

The age range of patients with confirmed cases ranges from 4 months to 104 years.

The four-month-old is doing well, officials said. 

Minnesota Director of the Emergency Management Joe Kelly said the process of selecting locations for alternate care sites is underway and conversions will begin after that. "We hope the additional capacity hospitals are generating right now will be adequate... but hope is not a plan," Kelly said.

Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education Heather Muller said federal officials have officially given them a waiver to postpone MCA standardized testing until next year.

Tuesday March 31

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has reported 12 deaths due to coronavirus in the state. This is up from 10 the day before. 

The number of patients testing positive for COVID-19 is now at 629, up from the 576 cases.

The total approximate number of tests completed is 19,780.
8,104 of the tests were done at MDH labs.

Health officials say the total number of cases requiring hospitalization is 112 with 56 patients currently hospitalized with symptoms of the coronavirus. 

Of the cases that tested positive for coronavirus, MDH says 288 of them no longer have to be isolated.

The median age for those testing positive for coronavirus in the state is 46. Patients range in age from 5 months to 104 years old.

The median age for deaths related to the virus is 86, with the youngest victim being 58 and the oldest 95 years old. 

There are three confirmed cases in children ranging from ages 0 to 5.
Hennepin County has the most cases with 204 cases confirmed.

10:30 a.m.

Medtronic has announced it will share design specifications for one of its portable ventilators to help accelerate global ventilator production.

"We know this global crisis needs a global response. Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett 980 ventilators. But we also know we can do more, and we are,” said Medtronic executive VP Bob White in a press release.

Medtronic says the PB 560 ventilator can provide airway support for both adults and children. 

In a tweet, Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said "Our PB 560 Ventilator is being open sourced, Medtronic design and specs will be available to be manufactured by anyone. An unprecedented human challenge requires an unprecedented response."

BLOG FROM MARCH 30, 2020: LIVE UPDATES: MDH updates coronavirus deaths to 10, positive cases to 576

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