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The daily coronavirus update: 8 more deaths; warning issued about certain hand sanitizers

The Minnesota Department of Health also issued guidance for students to try to minimize spread of the disease before the start of the school year.

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 August 14:

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63,723 confirmed cases; 1,693 deaths

Eight more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 1,693.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Friday, one was in their 90s, three were in their 80s, one was in their 70s, one was in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Six of the eight deaths announced Friday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,693 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,269 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 63,723 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 730 from Thursday’s count and is based on 16,617 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Since the start of the outbreak, 5,783 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 313 are currently in the hospital, 152 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 63,723 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 56,659 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

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Students urged to take precautions in run-up to school year

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann urged students, teachers and other members of the state’s school communities to do their part to make sure schools can resume in-person learning. That includes social distancing, wearing masks in public and staying home when sick or exposed to COVID-19, she said.

As for college students, Ehresmann advised laying low: before going back to campus, she said students should stay home and interact only with the people they live with for 14 days, ensuring that if they’re exposed to COVID-19, they won’t bring it to college with them, where mass infection could force students off of campuses.

“This is a bad time to throw a party, go on a group road trip, or otherwise lighten up on COVID precautions,” she said.

MDH has guidance for students going off to college here.

Beware toxic hand sanitizer

State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield cautioned Minnesotans to look out for hand sanitizers that contain methanol or 1-propanol.

The FDA has warned that these ingredients, found in some hand sanitizer products but not approved for use as a hand sanitizer ingredient in the U.S., can be toxic.

More information can be found here.

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Free community testing coming up

MDH is partnering with public health agencies in Ramsey and McLeod counties to offer free community testing in the coming days.

Ramsey County will have testing at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood on Saturdays Aug. 15, 22 and 29, and at Washington Tech Magnet School in St. Paul on Sundays Aug. 16, 23 and 30.

McLeod County will have testing at Glencoe City Center on Thursday, Aug. 20.

Those seeking tests are urged to sign up for appointments. For more information, visit their website 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