MN Government Updates 07.24

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing 07.24.20

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 773 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the state’s COVID-19 case total to 49,488.
  • The median age for a COVID-19 is now 36-years-old. This is a drop in age of 1.3 years from one week ago. One month ago this figure was 40-years-old.
  • There were five additional deaths due to COVID-19. Two of these deaths were associated with residents of long-term care facilities. This brings the state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths to 1,566.
  • Currently, 278 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 108 of those in the ICU.
  • Hospitalizations decreased by four.
  • ICU bed use increased by one.
  • A total of 16,792 COVID-19 tests were processed yesterday.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity rate average is 4.7%. This is down from 4.9% one week prior.
  • Commissioner Malcolm noted that the statewide mask mandate goes into effect tomorrow for indoor businesses and indoor public settings. The Stay Safe MN website has more guidance and information about exemptions to the mandate.

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

  • Director Ehresmann announced that the state had a visit this week from federal officials with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. It is expected these officials will issue recommendations for Minnesota in the coming days on new strategies to respond to COVID-19.
  • She also reported that scammers are reaching out to individuals pretending to be part of the state’s contact tracing team. The scammers are asking for credit cards of individuals in order to send them a testing kit. The Minnesota Department of Health wants the public to know that its employees will never ask for credit card information from individuals.
  • Director Ehresmann mentioned that the Minnesota Department of Health has sent an alert to healthcare providers in response to reports of 11 suspected cases in Minnesota of severe lung injuries associated with vaping. The vaping cases in Minnesotans ages 14 to 46-years old occurred in June and July, with a median age of 18 years. Diagnosis was made more difficult because the symptoms of the disease can be similar to those of COVID-19. All 11 cases resulted in hospitalizations with some requiring intensive care, including being placed on ventilators. Those who wish to quit smoking or vaping are encouraged to take advantage of the state’s Quit Partner resources.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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