MN Government Updates 10.16

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, officials from 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 2,297 new cases of COVID-19.
  • This is the highest daily total of case thus far in the pandemic.
  • For 12 of the past 16 days, the state has had over 1,000 COVID-19 daily cases.
  • The state’s total number of COVID-19 cases thus far is now at 119,396.
  • The state had its highest day of testing thus far with 44,398 tests processed yesterday.
  • There were 13 additional deaths due to COVID-19.
  • Thus far, 8,718 people have been hospitalized in Minnesota for COVID-19 with 2,375 of those in the ICU.
  • Currently, 461 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 131 of those in the ICU.
  • The seven-day COVID-19 test positivity average is 5.3% – up from 5.0% last week.
  • Commissioner Malcolm said that the dramatic jump in cases is not due to large events or a backlog in cases being reported. Instead, it is the result of steady inexorable spread between people who are asymptomatic. She said the state is at a “pivotal point” and action needs to be taken now. The commissioner encouraged Minnesotans to double-down on COVID-19 precaution measures including social distancing, wearing a mask, and washing hands regularly.

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

  • Director Ehresmann provided an update on healthcare worker exposures.
  • In May, 18% of COVID-19 cases came from patients in acute care and out-patient settings while 24% of cases came from social or household gatherings.
  • In September, 8% of COVID-19 cases came from patients in acute care and out-patient settings while 62% of cases came from social or household gatherings.
  • The majority of cases now in long-term care facilities are occurring in staff, instead of from residents.

Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare

  • DeCubellis noted two trends that Hennepin Healthcare is observing:
  • There are high levels of hospital use because of COVID-19 and delays in medical care that could’ve been prevented. DeCubellis encouraged Minnesotans to take care of themselves now so that the state can save critical resources across the state.
  • There are high levels of community spread of COVID-19. This has an impact on hospital capacity because healthcare workers are getting infected. She encouraged Minnesotans to continue to social distance, wear masks, and wash hands to keep healthcare workers in place and the economy moving.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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