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The daily coronavirus update: 8 more deaths; 15 Minnesota Sturgis attendees test positive, one hospitalized

One of the Sturgis-related cases was from a worker at a temporary bar there; the other 14 merely attended the rally.

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 August 21:

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68,133 confirmed cases; 1,753 deaths

Eight more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 1,753.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Friday, three were in their 80s, three were in their 70s, one was in their 60s and one was in their 40s. Four of the eight deaths announced Friday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,753 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,302 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 Friday there have been 68,133 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 825 from Thursday’s count and is based on 18,815 new tests. Minnesota hasn’t reported more than 800 new cases in one day since Aug. 9. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 6,064 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 296 are currently in the hospital, 136 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 68,133 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 60,920 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

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15 Minnesota cases among Sturgis attendees

MDH announced 15 cases of COVID-19 among Minnesotans who attended the Sturgis motorcycle rally this month. One person is hospitalized. The rally was held despite concerns of public health officials about the safety of a large gathering in the middle of a pandemic.

One person who tested positive worked at a temporary bar, while the 14 others were attendees, MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said. Public health officials are expecting many more cases associated with Sturgis, given that the event ended only days ago, on Aug. 16.

Community testing in Hennepin County

MDH is partnering with local public health officials in Hennepin County to offer free community COVID-19 tests at the following locations:

  • PICA Head Start, Minneapolis on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
  • New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Minneapolis on Friday, Aug. 28
  • Bloomington Kennedy High School, Bloomington on Tuesday, Sept. 1

More information can be found here. Appointments are recommended.

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State again urges vaccinations, responsibility among students

State officials reminded parents to get their kids vaccinated, particularly before the start of the school year.

There was a dip in vaccinations in March when COVID-19 was first detected in Minnesota. Those numbers have rebounded somewhat but are still behind normal levels.

In the wake of a COVID-19 exposure at a St. Olaf College off-campus party, officials again urged school communities to be responsible in the two-or-so weeks before school starts.

MDH has urged students to limit exposure to others, and therefore the virus, for the two weeks before they go to school in order to minimize the risk of an outbreak, and has urged students to be responsible at school.

“I hope that for these students, this is an opportunity to learn about the importance of how you make a difference in your community, not only by what you do with your careers but by the choices you make, even in the little things,” Ehresmann, a St. Olaf alum, said.

This just in: The Strib’s Ryan Faircloth reports that on Monday, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel is expected to propose students move into dorms two weeks later than scheduled and that most, if not all, classes go online for at least the semester’s first two weeks.

Today on MinnPost

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  • The pandemic has created challenges for Minnesota’s child care centers. Yet, new ones are still opening.
  • Asking yourself how long it’s been since this all started? Us too. 
  • As always, a look at the numbers on the MinnPost COVID-19 dashboard.

Around the web

  • The UK is picking up half the tab in an effort to get Britons to dine out and help its hospitality industry amid COVID-19
  • The LA Times has the story of a salesman who became Los Angeles’ first COVID-19 patient.

MDH’s coronavirus website:

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