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The daily coronavirus update: four more deaths; Walz to announce statewide mask mandate

The governor has been mulling whether to implement a statewide mask mandate in Minnesota for weeks.

Photo: CDC/Alissa Eckert

MinnPost provides updates on coronavirus in Minnesota Sunday through Friday. The information is published following a press phone call with members of the Walz administration or after the release of daily COVID-19 figures by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Here are the latest updates from July 22, 2020:

47,961 confirmed cases; 1,552 deaths 

Four more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,552.

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Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, one was in their 80s, one was in their 70s, one was in their 60s and one was in their 20s. Three of the four deaths announced Wednesday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,552 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,192 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 47,961 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 504 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 12,233 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 4,771 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 273 are currently in the hospital, 119 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 47,961 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 42,234 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

Walz to mandate masks indoors

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce a requirement Wednesday that Minnesotans wear masks while in indoor public spaces, the Star Tribune reported.

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The governor has been mulling whether to implement such a mandate for weeks. While public health officials have urged him to make the mask order, saying it would help curb the spread of COVID-19, the issue has faced political opposition from some who believe the requirement would be an unnecessary government intrusion into personal choices.

Republicans have also objected to Walz’s use of emergency powers to institute policy without legislative input.

Walz’s order is expected to cover only public places, not private homes. For more on this issue, read MinnPost reporter Greta Kaul’s story on the announcement, which will be updated throughout the day. 

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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

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