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The daily coronavirus update: Minnesota reports highest one-day death total in more than a month

16 more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday.

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 September 30, 2020:

Sixteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 2,036. That death count represents the highest one-day toll in the state since August 19. The state has only twice reported more than 15 deaths in a single day after June 19.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, four were in their 90s, four were in their 80s, three were in their 70s and five were in their 60s. Nine of the 16 deaths announced Wednesday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 2,036 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,458 have been among residents of long-term care.

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The current death toll only includes Minnesotans with lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests.

MDH also said Wednesday there have been 99,134 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 687 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 12,820 new tests. Kris Ehresmann, MDH’s infectious disease director, said Minnesota’s seven-day positive case average, which lags by a week, is 5.4 percent. That is up from 4.6 percent the prior week. The state generally says a 5 percent rate or above is a concerning sign of disease spread.  Ehresmann said the state’s rolling average has been above 5 percent for four consecutive days.

Since the start of the outbreak, 7,701 Minnesotans have been hospitalized. MDH is no longer reporting the number of people currently in the hospital due to COVID-19 on a daily basis. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 99,134 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 89,392 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

Labor Day weekend, school openings lead to case increase

Ehresmann told reporters Wednesday that the state has seen “increasing COVID activity” in part because of gatherings Labor Day weekend, as well as transmission in schools and athletics. It takes weeks to measure the full impact of COVID-19 spread from things like Labor Day parties or schools starting in-person classes, but Ehresmann said “we’re seeing that now.” But Ehresmann also said Minnesota’s recent high case counts and elevated seven-day positivity rate is also due to an “ongoing ripple” of the increase in COVID-19 spread from social gatherings that have happened all summer.

While the number of new cases varies day by day, the state’s “low points are getting higher and the high points are getting higher,” Ehresmann said. “That escalating roller coaster effect is definitely in place.”

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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

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