MN Government Updates 08.17

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm reported 567 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of cases to 65,716.
  • There were six more deaths due to COVID-19. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 1,712.
  • Currently, 286 patients are hospitalized with 155 of those in the ICU.
  • Hospitalizations dropped by four.
  • ICU bed use increased by three.
  • The COVID-19 test positivity rate has dropped to 4.9% for the first time since July 23.
  • When asked if the state’s COVID-19 numbers are stabilizing, Commissioner Malcolm responded that “we may have reached a crest of the latest wave” and described it as a “stable situation albeit at a higher level.”
  • When asked about health guidance for those seeking to travel during the last weeks of summer, the commissioner responded that the department is no longer issuing restrictive travel guidance, but asked Minnesotans to be respectful and mindful of COVID-19 precaution measures as they travel.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann encouraged Minnesotans to undertake healthy habits during the pandemic that can make it less likely to experience serious complications associated with COVID-19:
  • Eating a healthy, nutritious, and balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Exercising
  • Controlling stress by keeping connected socially as much as possible
  • The Minnesota Department of Health has posted new guidance for colleges and higher education institutions around how campuses should change operations relating to how the virus is circulating. Click here to read more.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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