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The daily coronavirus update: one death tied to Sturgis rally; MDH warns against misinformation about child protective services

MDH said Wednesday the number of confirmed cases is up 730 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 27,487 new tests. The increase in case count is largely due to a backlog reported by several labs.

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 2:

77,085 confirmed cases; 1,830 deaths

Seven more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Wednesday, for a total of 1,830.

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Of the people whose deaths were announced Wednesday, five were in their 80s and two were in their 60s. Five of the seven deaths announced Wednesday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 1,830 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,345 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 77,085 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 730 from Tuesday’s count and is based on 27,487 new tests. The seven-day case positivity average is 5.2 percent, up from 4.9 percent a week ago. That number has hovered around 5 percent since early July. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

The large case count reported Wednesday is largely due to a backlog in cases reported late by Valley Medical, a provider and lab, as well as some backlog from other labs. Wednesday’s count includes 16,865 tests from prior to Aug. 10, with 267 positive cases among them, MDH officials said.

Without the backlogged cases, the number of cases would be up 463 from Tuesday’s count, on a volume of 10,829 tests.

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Since the start of the outbreak, 6,566 Minnesotans have been hospitalized and 297 are currently in the hospital, 135 in intensive care. You can find more information about Minnesota’s current ICU usage and capacity here.

Of the 77,085 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 69,521 are believed to have recovered.

More information on cases can be found here.

CDC urging states to prepare to vaccinate

The New York Times reports the Centers for Disease Control is asking states to prepare to vaccinate residents as early as November. Some worry the request is part of a pre-election push to make a vaccine available.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the announcement doesn’t really change Minnesota’s plans — the state has been working to prepare for vaccinations all summer and met with CDC virtually last week.

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“We’re going to continue to build on the relationships we’re working to establish and the planning that has started and will continue to move that forward knowing that there may be a need to start vaccinating this fall,” Ehresmann said.

One COVID-19 death associated with Sturgis attendee

One person who attended the Sturgis motorcycle rally, a Minnesotan, has died of COVID-19, MDH reported Wednesday.

The person was in their 60s with underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized.

Minnesota now has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among attendees of Sturgis, as well as additional secondary infections among people who did not attend that stem from those who did.

Health officials said people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending Sturgis tended to report that they were at multiple events, inside and out-of-doors. 

Ehresmann reminded Minnesotans that being outdoors is not sufficient to eliminate the risk of spreading COVID-19, and said that social distancing and masks provide additional protection against the spread of the virus.

MDH warns against misinformation

Ehresmann said a rumor circulating on social media that children who test positive for COVID-19 are taken from their family members by child protective services is false.

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“It’s hard to believe we’re at a point where such nonsense needs to be addressed but let me say clearly that this rumor is false,” she said, urging Minnesotans to think critically about where they get their news and be wary of unsubstantiated rumors on social media.

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Around the web

    • In New Orleans, many COVID-19 patients — particularly Black patients — were sent to hospice or home to die,instead of continuing treatment, ProPublica reports.

MDH’s coronavirus website:

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