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Live updates: MDH urges compliance at 'sobering point' in COVID-19 pandemic

Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Credit: KARE

ST PAUL, Minn. — Monday, August 3

  • MDH: 'Sobering point in the pandemic' for nation, world
  • Sturgis Rally to go on despite virus, expecting 250K
  • Minnesota cases rise to 55,560
  • Used cars become hot commodity during COVID-19

2 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is urging compliance with public health guidance as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Monday that more than 2,000 additional cases have been confirmed in the state since Friday. The test positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive, rose to 5% over the weekend and is now at 5.1%. MDH has previously said that a rate of 5% over at least five days in a row would be a concerning milestone.

“The pace of growth in our country and around the world is pretty sobering,” Malcolm said. “Very sobering point in the pandemic for all of us.”

Malcolm said there has been a 19% increase in the number of patients in the ICU and a 5% increase in other hospitalizations over the past week in Minnesota.

"We’ve been noting and feeling grateful over the last few weeks with a declining hospital census," Malcolm said, but MDH has anticipated a rise in hospitalizations as cases rise in the state.

Malcolm also said they are continuing to urge the public to follow state health department guidelines, among reports of a rodeo in northern Minnesota last week with several thousand people in attendance, and the Sturgis bike rally set to go on with 250,000 attendees.

"The impact of COVID-19 on our schools, our businesses and our family and friends is largely going to be determined by the decisions that each of us makes," Malcolm said. "We all need Minnesotans to do our parts and we thank the great majority of people who are doing just that and paying close attention to social distancing and mask wearing and avoiding large crowds and gatherings."

Malcolm pointed out that South Dakota has seen recent spikes in COVID-19 cases.

"We are concerned with any large gathering; sustained contact of that nature is sort of a recipe for something to happen," she said. "We would expect that we might see cases in Minnesota from that later in August and into September."

People attending the rally should be aware of the risks and self-monitor for symptoms, Malcolm said. They should also consider getting tested for COVID-19 five to seven days after the event.

Malcolm said they have had 370 recent complaints about potential bar and restaurant violations of Gov. Tim Walz's executive orders, 24 of which were made on Friday.

On Monday's briefing call, MDH Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann made a request for people to participate in convalescent plasma programs if they've had COVID-19 in the past, and for the general public to donate blood.

Ehresmann also warned about a scam making the rounds locally with fake guidance on masks, purporting to be from the CDC.

As the test positivity rate rises in Minnesota, Ehresmann said the guidance from federal authorities is to begin rolling back reopening measures.

"When our case numbers go up and when we see those challenges with increases cases and increased use of ICU, then that is the recommendation we hear," Ehresmann said. "That is the recommendation that's coming from our federal partners."

Ehresmann said that it's too early to tell exactly what long-term impact COVID-19 may have on patients, but "there is data suggestive of the fact that having COVID may have more lasting consequences than people initially thought."

RELATED: Rodeo organizers face state enforcement action as attendee tests positive for COVID-19

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11 a.m.

New numbers released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reflect 622 new cases of COVID-19 across the state. That number is a dip of more than 100 from Sunday's numbers, even though nearly 700 more tests were performed in the past day than in the previous day. 

Minnesota now has registered 56,560 cases of the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic. 

Two more Minnesotans perished from the virus over the past 24-hour reporting period, bringing fatalities to 1,616. Of that number 1,231, or 76% of the state's total deaths, have occurred in a long-term care or assisted living facility. 

Currently 302 people are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals across Minnesota, 153 of them in the ICU. Those numbers are slightly down from earlier last week, but have generally been going up for most of July. . 

MDH says 49,565 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered enough to no longer require isolation. 

Those between the ages of 20 and 29 continue to make up the largest group of cases in the state, with 13,370 and four deaths. People 30 to 39 comprise the second largest caseload with 10,438 and 14 deaths, while those between the ages of 80 and 89 account for just 1,878 cases but 541 deaths, 33% of the state's total. 

Hennepin County remains the case leader in the state, with 18,009 and 819 deaths. Ramsey County reports 6,944 cases and 261 deaths, while Dakota County has registered 3,991 case and 103 deaths.

RELATED: Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns

RELATED: Used cars become hot commodity during COVID-19

Sunday, August 2

11 a.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Sunday that the number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Minnesota has increased by 769 bringing the cumulative total to 55,947.

Eight more people also died, bringing the death total to 1,614.

Health officials say 1,231 deaths have taken place in long-term care or assisted living facilities.

Of the eight new deaths, five occurred in long-term care and three at private residences.

MDH also said Sunday that the total number of tests taken is at 1,054,962 .

Health officials also say 5,241 total cases have required hospitalization. Of the total cases as of Sunday, 302 people remained in the hospital with 149 patients in intensive care. 

MDH says 48,847 people no longer need to be isolated. 

Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 20-29 account for the most cases with 13,231 cases and four deaths, and those ages 30-39 follow with 10,330 cases and 14 deaths. Those between 80 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group at 540, out of 1,872 confirmed cases.

In terms of likely exposure to the coronavirus, MDH says 8,252 cases involved exposure in a congregate living setting, 737 were in a corrections setting, and 224 were in a homeless shelter. A total of 11,189 cases had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case, 12,614 cases had community transmission with no known contact with an infected person, and 5,603 were linked to an outbreak outside of congregate living or health care.

MDH says 4,103 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers or patients account for 4,072 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 17,789, with 819 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 6,861 cases and 261 deaths. Dakota County reports 3,942 cases and 102 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.