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Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Death toll rises to 1,186 as testing again exceeds 10K

Jun 07, 2020 11:36AM ● By Editor
Samples are tested for COVID-19 in March 3 at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Courtesy of Minnesota Department of Health

From Minnesota Public Radio News - June 7, 2020

State health officials on Sunday reported 16 additional confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota, bringing the overall death toll to 1,186.

Sunday’s report from the state health department came soon after the family of St. Paul school board chair Marny Xiong announced that she had died Sunday morning of COVID-19, after a monthlong battle with the disease. She was 31.

Minnesota saw another 388 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Sunday’s report, bringing the overall total to 27,886 — with nearly 3,000 of those cases among health-care workers.

The numbers released each morning by state health officials reflect the data as it stood at 4 p.m. the previous day.

The number of completed tests exceeded 10,000 for the fourth consecutive day, while the numbers of people hospitalized and in ICUs continued to fall. Sunday’s report showed 450 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 199 of them in ICUs — the first time that number has dropped below 200 since May 13.

Thirteen of the 16 deaths reported Sunday were people who had been living in long-term care facilities. Nearly 23,000 people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Minnesota have recovered to the point where they no longer need to be isolated.

Sunday’s report comes after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced a further loosening of restrictions on businesses and other aspects of society during the coronavirus pandemic, beginning next week. 

Among the changes:

  • Indoor restaurant and bar service and personal services can open at 50 percent capacity with a 250-person limit

  • Places of worship can also hold services at 50 percent capacity with a 250-person limit

  • Entertainment venues can open 25 percent capacity with a 250-person limit

  • Personal care services, including salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors, can work indoors at 50 percent capacity

  • Gyms, yoga studio and fitness centers can reopen 25 percent capacity with a 250-person limit

The changes are set to take effect on Wednesday.

But officials continued their plea to Minnesotans to continue staying 6 feet apart, wear masks and stay home if you feel ill.

“We are not going back to normal,” cautioned Steve Grove, commissioner of employment and economic development as he praised businesses for the sacrifices they’ve made in the COVID-19 era. “We’re continuing to ask for personal responsibility in the next phase.”

State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm indicated the recent patterns of cases and hospitalizations in Minnesota are showing “a plateau with small waves within in,” calling it an “encouragingly stable” situation. 

“Statewide, we're in good shape for critical care capacity,” she added.

She cautioned, though, that the protests over George Floyd’s killing may have boosted the disease spread. It will take a few weeks to find out. But she expressed confidence that the state was positioned to handle the pandemic without it overwhelming the case system.

    To read the original article and see related COVID-19 reporting, follow this link to the MPR News website.
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