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The daily coronavirus update: Five more deaths; new data on disparities in cases

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 33,763 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 294 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 Gov. Tim Walz’s administration each afternoon.

Here are the latest updates from June 24, 2020:

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33,763 confirmed cases; 1,397 deaths

Five more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,397.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, one was in their 90s, one was in their 70s, two were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Two of the five deaths announced Wednesday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,397 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,102 have been among residents of long-term care.

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

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 33,763 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 294 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 9,547 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,897 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 340 are currently in the hospital, 160 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 33,763 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 29,707 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

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Racial disparities in community testing results

Further analysis of results from four COVID-19 testing sites set up in Minneapolis and St. Paul designed to test those who participated in demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s murder reveal racial disparities in results, said Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann. 

Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann
The positivity rate for white people tested at the sites was 0.2 percent, compared to 1.3 percent among Black people tested, 5 percent among Asian people tested, and 7.4 percent among Hispanic and Latino people tested.

All told, 40 percent of people who were tested were people of color, but people of color made up 90 percent of positive results, Ehresmann said, adding that because the people tested were engaged in the same demonstration activities, these results underscore the underlying racial disparities in things like jobs and underlying health conditions.

Spike in possibly bar-related cases

An increase in disease in South Central Minnesota among people in their 20s is possibly linked to bar-going over the weekend of June 12 and June 13.

Young adults who tested positive reported going to several bars over that weekend, and also told case interviewers they worked in health care or child care.

She cautioned that people should avoid crowding in bars and restaurants — outside and socially distanced is safer — and also be mindful that while they may not be at high risk of severe complications from COVID-19, they may pass it on to people who are. It’s also a good idea to wear masks when you can, Ehresmann said.

She also cautioned that alcohol may increase the risk of transmission. 

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“[With] alcohol consumption, that can mean that people’s inhibitions and perhaps even attentiveness to some of our recommendations about social distancing are likely reduced,” she said.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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