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The daily coronavirus update: 25 more deaths; number of new cases in Minnesota rises for third straight day

Minnesota Department of Health officials say it’s too early to tell whether the case numbers are simply small upticks in a plateau — or the start of a larger increase.

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 12, 2020:

29,795 confirmed cases; 1,274 deaths  

Twenty-five more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 1,274 deaths.

Of the deaths announced Friday were seven people in their nineties, six in their eighties, seven in their seventies and five in their sixties. Twenty-two of the 25 were residents of long-term care. Of the 1,274 deaths reported in Minnesota to-date, 1,015 were 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 Friday there have been 29,795 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 479 from Thursday’s count. The number of new cases reported rose for the third day in a row, but health officials said it’s too early to tell whether it’s part of a plateau containing small upticks in cases — or the start of a larger increase.

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,557 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 403 are currently in the hospital, 191 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 29,795 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 25,028 are believed to have recovered.

A total of 395,202 COVID-19 tests have been completed in Minnesota.

More information on cases can be found here.

MDH working to create guidelines for long-term care facility visits

MDH officials said they are looking for ways to potentially make visits possible for residents of long-term care, whose residents are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the department is currently working on window and outdoor visit guidance. 

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As MDH considers lifting some restrictions, officials suggested guidance will take into account what’s happening in the surrounding community as well as the facility with COVID-19, whether the facility has access to adequate staffing, testing and personal protective equipment and whether masks are in use.

While long-term care facilities remain a coronavirus concern, Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the numbers are trending in a positive direction. For example, the number of facilities with new outbreaks is trending down, and the number of deaths in long-term care went from 143 the week of May 17-23 to 41 deaths the week of June 7-13. While Ehresmann called 41 deaths unacceptable and concerning, she said that the fact those numbers are decreasing suggests facilities can control infections when given the proper training and resources.

Some post-demonstration testing results in

This week, MDH coordinated testing at four sites in Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods near where demonstrations were held in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Anyone who participated in a demonstration or related gathering, including community clean-ups, has been encouraged to get tested whether they were symptomatic or not.

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Of 3,223 tests done at the four sites, results for 1,327 of the tests are in, with 1.4 percent positive. That the number is lower than the statewide daily positivity rate of about 3.7 isn’t surprising, MDH officials said, because many tests in Minnesota are performed at sites where known exposures occurred, which was not the case for the demonstrations. Still, with only half the results in, officials cautioned against a strict interpretation of the results. More testing will be conducted at Minneapolis and St. Paul sites in the coming weeks. Information can be found here.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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