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The daily coronavirus update: new data shows 69 deaths tied to single nursing home

COVID-19
Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert
COVID-19

Here are the latest updates from June 23, 2020:

33,469 confirmed cases; 1,393 deaths 

Nine more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday, for a total of 1,393.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Tuesday, two were in their 90s, four were in their 80s, two were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Six of the nine deaths announced Tuesday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,393 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,101 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 Tuesday there have been 33,469 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 242 from Monday’s count and is based on 7,261 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 3,860 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 339 are currently in the hospital, 158 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 33,469 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 29,399 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

MDH discloses new data on long-term care facilities 

At least 69 residents of North Ridge Health and Rehab nursing home in New Hope have died of COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit long-term care facility in the state, according to data released by MDH on Monday. There have been 334 total confirmed cases so far in the outbreak among residents and staff at the facility, which is run by Tampa-based Mission Health Communities.

While MDH had not released the known cases and deaths at each long-term care facility, it disclosed the information for facilities with more than 10 residents on June 5 after a Senate committee threatened to subpoena the state for the information

MinnPost asked Monday for updated information and received information current to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. In that early June data, St. Therese of New Hope had 67 COVID-19 deaths while North Ridge Health and Rehab had 57.

Two weeks later, the new data show the same death toll at St. Therese and 197 total confirmed COVID-19 cases over the course of the pandemic, which is actually a decrease of one case from the earlier tally. North Ridge has had 39 more confirmed cases among residents and staff than reported in early June.

Austin Blilie, vice president of operations at North Ridge, said his 320-bed facility is the largest skilled nursing home in the state and has taken in nearly 70 patients sick with COVID-19 since May from hospitals and other facilities because of their ability to handle the deadly virus. Blilie said people at North Ridge are often elderly and have many underlying conditions and some admitted with COVID-19 are on hospice, making them susceptible to severe cases with the disease.

North Ridge, he said, is an example of a facility stepping up to serve the community, not of lax infection control. Blilie said staff has access to full personal protective equipment, though state data says 92 staff have had known cases of the virus. There are only 12 active cases at North Ridge currently, Blilie said, adding that 133 people sick with the disease have recovered since May 8.

More than 20 residents have died at eight long-term care facilities listed by MDH. Another 27 have at least 10 deaths among residents. The facility with the most deaths outside of the Twin Cities metro area is Eventide on 8th, an assisted living facility in Clay County with at least 16 deaths and 65 confirmed cases. That is an increase of two deaths and seven cases compared to the data released earlier this month.

The full updated data can be found here.

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MDH’s coronavirus website: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html

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

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ron Quido on 06/23/2020 - 08:32 pm.

    The article should compare total residents (all the people who have lived there since testing started, not just bed capacity) to total confirmed cases and total staff to total staff cases. North Ridge has a below-average resident death rate of 29% (resident deaths/resident confirmed cases) compared to all skilled nursing facilities at 33%

    Publishing just the numbers without comparing the total size of residents and staff will always make the largest facility look “bad.”

  2. Submitted by Doug Rohde on 06/24/2020 - 12:33 pm.

    And… if I understand the article and the above comment correctly, North Ridge has a below-average resident death rate despite taking in people who are already COVID positive, some on hospice, so another comment and a question: 1) they must be doing a stellar job with everyone else; and 2) are people who pass away while under hospice care considered COVID victims or are their deaths being attributed to underlying causes?

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