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The daily coronavirus update: 19 more deaths; why Wisconsin has fewer cases than Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health also said Wednesday there have been 28,869 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 346 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 10, 2020:

28,869 confirmed cases; 1,236 deaths

Nineteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,236. 

Of the deaths announced Wednesday were four people in their 90s; seven in their 80s; five in their 70s; two in their 60s, and one person in their 30s with underlying health conditions. Sixteen of the 19 deaths announced Wednesday were residents of long-term care facilities.

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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 28,869 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 346 from Tuesday’s count.

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,482 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 427 are currently in the hospital, 193 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 28,869 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 24,675 are believed to have recovered.

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A total of 369,795 COVID-19 tests have been completed in Minnesota.

More information on cases can be found here.

Amid reopenings, MDH urges precautions

Wednesday marks the day Minnesota’s gyms, fitness centers and indoor dining establishments can reopen with restrictions (more info in this update from last week).

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm
Christine T. Nguyen/MPR News/Pool
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm reminded Minnesotans that the pandemic is not over, and that COVID-19 is likely to be around for some time. She said people should maintain the precautions they’ve been asked to practice all along, including social distancing, wearing masks whenever possible and washing hands to slow the spread of the virus.

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin

Anybody paying close attention to neighboring states’ COVID-19 stats might have noticed that Wisconsin has fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths than Minnesota. For reference, Minnesota has 28,869 confirmed cases and 1,236 deaths. Wisconsin, meanwhile, has 21,593 cases and 671 deaths. 

That’s despite being similarly sized (Wisconsin’s population is slightly larger than Minnesota’s), being neighbors, and being exposed to the virus — at least that we know of — around the same time. (Update: we should also note Wisconsin’s restrictions loosened  earlier than Minnesota’s.)

Why is that?

It’s not totally clear. MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said Wednesday that MDH has been in conversation with Wisconsin epidemiologists and that the state doesn’t appear to be doing anything significantly differently from Minnesota.

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Wisconsin does, however, have fewer long-term care outbreaks (Wisconsin uses a narrower definition of long-term care, focused on nursing homes and assisted living, but even so, Ehresmann said). It also has fewer outbreaks in manufacturing or meat processing plants. 

Still, Ehresmann said, “There hasn’t been any sort of definitive red flag that they’re doing something particularly different from us that has made a difference.”

Community testing available in Minneapolis and St. Paul

More than 1,100 were tested Tuesday at four community testing sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul designed to make testing available to those involved in protests or gatherings in the wake of George Floyd’s death, whether they are symptomatic or not.

Testing is available free-of-cost, with no insurance required, at sites in north Minneapolis, St. Paul and two sites in south Minneapolis. Testing at these sites will also be available June 16, 17, 23 and 24. Hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and people seeking tests are advised to make appointments because limited walk-in appointments are available. 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