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The daily coronavirus update: 14 more deaths; state working to set up testing sites for protest attendees

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 25,870 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 362 from Tuesday’s count. 

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 3, 2020:

25,870 confirmed cases; 1,086 deaths 

Fourteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,086. 

Of the deaths announced Wednesday were four people in their 90s, six in their 80s, two in their 70s, one in their 60s, and one in their 40s. Ten of the 14 were residents of long-term care facilities. Of the deaths reported in Minnesota so far, 876 out of 1,086 have been among residents of long-term care.

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

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 25,870 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 362 from Tuesday’s count. 

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,203 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 537 are currently in the hospital, 254 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 25,870 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 21,169 no longer need to be isolated, which means they are believed to have recovered.

A total of 265,718 COVID-19 tests have been completed in Minnesota.

More information on cases can be found here.

Testing sites for protesters

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Wednesday that her agency is working to set up COVID-19 testing stations for people who attended protests over the last week or were at other large gatherings, like community clean-up events. 

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The state is encouraging everyone who attended a public event to get tested, even if they are asymptomatic. For people who don’t have symptoms, Malcolm encouraged testing between five and seven days after possible exposure to COVID-19. If you are not symptomatic and test negative for COVID-19, Malcolm said you can get tested a second time, about 12 to 14 days after potential exposure.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm
Evan Frost/MPR/Pool
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm
“As we know, COVID-19 can spread easily and quickly in large groups of people who are close together for long periods of time — including, especially, environments where there is louder talking or chanting or shouting or singing,” Malcolm said. “And because of all these reasons literally thousands of people may have been exposed with the degree of community spread that we know we have in the Twin Cities and around Minnesota.”

Malcolm said people should reach out to their normal health care provider to get tested, but she said more information on “additional community-based testing” should be available within a day or so.

Scammers impersonating public health workers

MDH officials asked Minnesotans to be on guard against scams sent via text by people impersonating public health workers who claim to be COVID-19 contact tracing. In some of these scams, recipients are notified they may have been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Clicking links sent by scammers can lead to inadvertently downloading software that shares data from recipient’s phones, or being prompted to reveal sensitive information.

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“Health officials in Minnesota would only text someone after they had reached out to them initially by phone,” Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said.

Plateau? Too soon to say

If you look at the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in recent days, their increase seems to be slowing. But while things seem to be stabilizing for now, MDH officials say it’s too early to call that slowing a plateau.

“We are not declaring anything to be a sustained trend yet, but it does seem as though we’ve been in a different phase of the pandemic,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

Health officials should begin to see the effects of loosening the stay-at-home order in recent weeks in case data about a week from now. 

The effects of demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s death, as well as the opening of bars, restaurants and salons with restrictions on June 1, won’t begin to be seen until about the third week of June.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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