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State Covid-19 case counts keep rising


August 7, 2020

Minnesota’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to head the wrong way, with counts of people currently hospitalized and needing intensive care rising to levels not seen in six weeks.

The Health Department Tuesday reported 328 people still hospitalized with 159 of those need ICU beds.

Officials have been bracing Minnesotans to expect hospitalizations and ICU cases to grow in response to the case surge the past few weeks as Minnesota began allowing customers to return to indoor gathering spaces, including bars, stores and restaurants.

While current hospitalizations remain far lower than their late-May peak, they continue to climb even as the growth in new cases flattens.

Minnesota on Tuesday reported 606 new confirmed cases of the disease and four more deaths.

Of the 57,162 confirmed cases of the disease since the pandemic began, about 88 percent of those infected have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.

Among the 1,620 Minnesotans who’ve died, about 76 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; nearly all had underlying health problems.

Worries remain about the growth of COVID-19 among younger Minnesotans, including that those infected will inadvertently spread the virus to grandparents and other more vulnerable people.

“Consider all the roles you play” in all daily interactions, Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, cautioned last week. People who might not worry about themselves should worry about infecting vulnerable family members and coworkers, she added.

Minnesotans in their 20s now make up the age group with the most confirmed cases in the pandemic — more than 13,000. Over the past month, though, new cases have risen in just about every age group except 20-somethings.

The median age of Minnesotans infected has been trending down in recent weeks and is now 36 years old.

Regionally, the Twin Cities and its suburbs have been driving the newly reported cases.

The seven-county Twin Cities metro area represents more than two-thirds of new COVID-19 cases in Minnesota and has accounted for a disproportionate share of the state’s cases since mid-May when southern Minnesota’s meatpacking hot spots were surging.

But the disease is present in all parts of the state, including the north, which had largely avoided the outbreak until recently.

Cases are now as prevalent in northern Minnesota as they are in central Minnesota for basically the first time this outbreak.

Cases in Beltrami County, home to Bemidji, have more than doubled in the past two weeks, increasing to 200 as of Tuesday. Most of the counties seeing a jump in case growth relative to their population are in northern and central Minnesota.

Meatpacking operations had been hot spots for big outbreaks in southwest, west-central and central Minnesota earlier in the pandemic, but new cases have slowed considerably in recent weeks.


County is part of upward trend

The number of reported Covid-19 cases are climbing in Carlton County, up 10 Wednesday from the week before at 130. The county remains in a dwindling clutch of Minnesota counties with no reported deaths from the virus. While its case numbers are low relative to other places, there has been a steady quickening in case counts since June.

The Fond du Lac Human Services Division was notified Tuesday about three lab-confirmed Covid-19 positive cases. Two of the infected patients live within the Fond du Lac Reservation boundary. They are the first documented cases of positive patients with addresses in the reservation.

— Pine Knot News


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