For the foreseeable future, MinnPost will be providing daily updates on coronavirus in Minnesota, published following the press phone call conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) with Gov. Tim Walz and administration officials each afternoon.
Here are the latest updates from April 22, 2020:
2,721 confirmed cases; 179 deaths
Another 19 people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, state health officials said Wednesday, the highest one-day total of fatalities since the pandemic began. In total, 179 Minnesotans have been killed by the disease.
Of the deaths announced Wednesday were: 18 people from Hennepin County and one from Nobles County; two people in their 90s, eight in their 80s, seven in their 70s, one person in their 60s and one person in their 50s who had significant underlying health conditions; and 16 residents of long-term care.
The current death toll only includes Minnesotans with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests. The median age of all Minnesotans who have died from the coronavirus is 83.
The Minnesota Department of Health also said Wednesday there have been 2,721 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 154 from Tuesday’s count. Because Minnesota doesn’t have the capacity to test everybody with symptoms, the number of people with the virus is assumed to be significantly higher.
Since the start of the outbreak, 660 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 240 are currently in the hospital, 107 in intensive care. Of the 2,721 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 1,317 no longer need to be isolated, which means they are considered to have recovered. The median age of people needing hospitalization or intensive care because of COVID-19 is 64.
A total of 49,344 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Minnesota.
State to pay $36 million to Mayo, U of M to ramp up testing
Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday the state will pay $36 million to the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic to help ramp up COVID-19 testing across the state.
In partnership, the hospital, school and state hope to administer 20,000 molecular tests each day, which detect people who currently have COVID-19, and another 15,000 serology tests each day, which detect antibodies from a past infection.
Once fully implemented in the coming days and weeks, state health officials say their goal is for everyone who has symptoms to get tested. Since the pandemic started, a lack of testing capacity has sharply limited testing to those with severe symptoms and at-risk people like the elderly and health care workers.
Walz said the increase in testing is necessary for reopening the economy and will help track the infection and better isolate those who are sick.
Today on MinnPost
- State government reporter Peter Callaghan on why the state of Minnesota isn’t sure how (or when) it will be able to spend federal COVID-19 response money.
- Need something to ease cabin fever? Bill Lindeke on the game of “bike tag.”
- Prolific Minnesota artist Patrick Scully talked with Pamela Espeland about his Pandemic Cabaret.
- Asking yourself how long it’s been since this all started? We’ve been asking that too.
- As always, a look at the numbers on the MinnPost COVID-19 dashboard.
Around the web
- From the New York Times: Officials in California said Tuesday that two residents in Santa Clara County died of COVID-19 in early and mid-February, making them the earliest known victims of the pandemic in the U.S.
- At least 12 residents of one large senior care community in New Hope have died of COVID-19, reports the Star Tribune.
- Hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles County residents have likely been infected by the coronavirus, according to a study of antibody tests taken there. The Los Angeles Times reports the number far outpaces officially confirmed cases.
MDH’s coronavirus website: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html
Hotline, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 651-201-3920