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The daily coronavirus update: 14 more deaths; more cases in long-term care facilities

The Minnesota Department of Health also announced Friday that there have been nine cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota linked to a Trump rally in Bemidji in September.

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 October 9:

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109,312 confirmed cases; 2,121 deaths

Fourteen more Minnesotans have died of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday, for a total of 2,121.

Of the people whose deaths were announced Friday, one was over 100 years old, three were in their 90s, three were in their 80s, four were in their 70s, two were in their 60s and one was in their 50s. Twelve of the 14 deaths announced Friday were among residents of long-term care facilities. Of the 2,121 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota, 1,513 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 109,312 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The number of confirmed cases is up 1,390 from Thursday’s count and is based on 31,857 new tests. You can find the seven-day positive case average here. The seven-day positivity average is at 5 percent. That number has been at or above 5 percent — considered a cautionary threshold — for 13 days, health officials said Friday. You can find the seven-day positive case average here.

Minnesota’s virus hotspots are all currently in Greater Minnesota, Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said. The top 12 counties with the highest per-capita growth in cases are outside the Twin Cities metro. Martin and Pipestone counties have both seen case positivity rates over 10 percent for the last week.

On Thursday, MDH once again began releasing current hospital admission totals. The most recent data show 338 non-ICU COVID-19 patients in the hospital, and 133 ICU COVID-19 patients in the hospital. So far in October, the number of people in the ICU with COVID-19 was among the highest since the pandemic began.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 8,251 hospitalizations and 2,267 ICU admissions in Minnesota due to COVID-19. More information on COVID-related hospitalizations in Minnesota can be found here. For information on current ICU usage and capacity, click here.

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Of the 109,312 confirmed positive cases in Minnesota, 97,715 no longer need to be isolated, meaning they are no longer believed to be contagious.

More information on cases can be found here.

After declines, cases are up in long-term care again

MDH officials said COVID-19 cases are once again rising in long-term care facilities.

With high levels of community spread, outbreaks are occurring in long-term care as people who work in the facilities come into contact with the virus. The majority of cases in long-term care are in staff, not residents, which officials attributed to improving infection control.

State ups table capacity in restaurants, releases guidance on spectators at school sports events

On Thursday, the state put out new guidance on dining in restaurants. Instead of allowing four people at a table (six if they’re housemates), parties of 10 are now allowed. More information on the new guidance can be found here.

Asked why the state is loosening restrictions when case counts are high and hospitalizations are up, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said these decisions are made through more than just a public health lens.

“If we were looking at only the public health view, we would be probably going the other direction, just because of our concern about numbers. But the economic impact, the jobs impacts are also really important for the state as a whole, and for health,” she said.

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MDH also released updated guidance on spectators of school sports activities Thursday. The guidelines recommend no more than two spectators for each student participant involved, plus lay out distance and masking guidelines. The new sports guidance can be found here.

Case count from Bemidji Trump rally at 9; one in ICU

MDH officials said nine cases of COVID-19 have been traced to a mid-September rally held by President Donald Trump in Bemidji. Two attendees have been hospitalized; one is in the ICU. The rally was reported to have violated public health orders on capacity, distancing and masking.

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MDH’s coronavirus website:

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