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The daily coronavirus update: 12 more deaths in Minnesota; 73 new cases in Mower County

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 31,296 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of positives is up 414 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 19,573 new tests.

Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert

For the foreseeable future, MinnPost will be providing daily updates on coronavirus in Minnesota, published following the press phone call with members of the Walz administration each afternoon.

Here are the latest updates from June 17, 2020:

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31,296 confirmed cases; 1,325 deaths 

Twelve more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,325. 

Of the deaths announced Wednesday, one person was over age 100, three people were in their nineties, five people in their eighties, two people in their seventies and one in their sixties. Ten of the 12 deaths announced Wednesday were residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,325 COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota, 1,051 have been among long-term care residents.

The current death toll only includes Minnesotans with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests.

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 31,296 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of positives is up 414 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 19,573 new tests.

That cases and tests are much higher than in days prior reflects a lag in reporting from a private lab, so Wednesday’s numbers reflect some tests that would have normally been reported Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Looking beyond the reporting glitch, officials said the numbers appear to represent a continuing gradual decline in positive case counts.

You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,689 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 351 are currently in the hospital, 181 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

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Of the 31,296 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 27,404 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

Mower County cases up

Mower County reported 73 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and now has the second-highest incidence of cases in the state.

MDH officials said they’re working with local public health officials to provide community testing in Austin on Saturday and Sunday, and should be able to offer about 1,000 tests each of those days.

Some of the cases are related to large employers in the area — officials did not say which, while others come from community spread.

Community testing in the Twin Cities continues

Testing continues at four sites in the Twin Cities near where protesters held demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

The most recent batch of tests continues to have a positivity rate of about 1 percent. The seven-day average statewide is about 4 percent, per MDH. The agency said last week it was not surprising that samples from demonstrators had lower positivity rates than the overall state rate because statewide, many are tested because of known exposure. Protesters have been encouraged to get tested because of the potential risk of transmission at demonstrations even if they were asymptomatic, not because of known exposures.

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While officials said it’s encouraging that cases are not rising quickly in the wake of protests that started more than three weeks ago (the incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be as long as two weeks), they said it’s too early to draw conclusions; that increases in cases can lag more than one incubation period.

Community testing at sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul will continue next Tuesday and Wednesday. More information can be found here.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

Hotline, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: 651-201-3920