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The daily coronavirus update: Walz extends peacetime emergency

Minnesota officials reported two more deaths due to COVID-19 and 491 new confirmed cases of the disease.

COVID-19
COVID-19
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 13:

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42,772 confirmed cases; 1,504 deaths

Two more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Monday, for a total of 1,504.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Monday, one was in their 90s and one was in their 80s. One of the two deaths announced Monday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,504 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,172 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 Monday there have been 42,772 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 491 from Sunday’s count and is based on 11,776 new tests.

Over the weekend, MDH reported large numbers of new positive cases — 804 on Saturday and 710 on Sunday. Monday’s total was substantially smaller on a slightly smaller test volume. The seven-day rolling average 4.7 percent, up 7/10 percent from a week prior. You can find the seven-day positive case average over time here.

The median age of those with confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to decline and is now at 37.6 years.

Since the start of the outbreak, 4,424 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 247 are currently in the hospital, 114 in intensive care. The number of people in the ICU is at levels not seen since late-April, down from a high of 263 at the end of May. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

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Of the 42,772 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 37,199 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

Walz extends peacetime emergency

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Monday again extending the peacetime emergency Minnesota has been under since mid-March due to coronavirus.

In a statement, his office argued peacetime emergency powers give the state the ability to more effectively respond to the pandemic.

Not everyone agrees. Republicans in the once-again-in-special-session Minnesota Senate voted to rescind the peacetime emergency status. Terminating the status would require a majority of votes in the DFL-controlled house, which is not likely to happen, so the peacetime emergency stands.

According to Walz’s office, 49 out of 50 states remain in states of peacetime emergency due to COVID-19.

Bars and restaurants reminded to comply with rules

A spate of recent COVID-19 cases have been tied to bars and restaurants in Minnesota. On Monday, MDH officials reminded Minnesotans that the ability of bars and restaurants to be open under current executive orders is contingent on following the rules.

When serving indoors, establishments are required to cap occupancy at 50 percent of capacity based on fire codes, with a minimum of six feet between groups of patrons and a maximum of 250 people.

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Outdoors, bars and restaurants must ensure physical distance and not exceed 25o people.

“The bottom line is we need businesses to follow these guidelines and patrons need to respect that there are guidelines that businesses are trying to follow,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

When businesses are found to be out of compliance with MDH rules, the agency or local public health first responds by educating them. If they haven’t fixed the problem upon a follow-up visit, they are reminded of the requirements. If the problem persists after that point, public health officials may take regulatory action.

Members of the public can make complaints to the state duty officer, file an online complaint or call an MDH complaint line at 651-201-4500.

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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