Fourteen COVID-19 deaths were reported by Minnesota health authorities on Wednesday, including two Hennepin County residents in their 30s.
The double-digit death total is the third in two weeks, following a prolonged streak that started in early July in which the Minnesota Department of Health reported nine or fewer deaths.
The state has now reported 1,793 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota this winter. The Health Department on Wednesday also reported 542 newly lab-confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 71,236.
The state also reported 304 people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday, including 134 people who needed intensive care due to breathing problems or other complications.
While 80% of COVID-19 deaths involve Minnesotans who are 70 or older, the fatalities reported Wednesday included the two people in their 30s but also residents from Nicollet and Ramsey counties in their 50s.
Nine of the 14 reported deaths involved residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities while one involved a resident of a behavioral health group home. The majority of COVID-19 deaths have involved residents of long-term care facilities who are at greater risk of severe cases due to their advanced age or underlying health conditions including diabetes and diseases of the heart, lung and kidneys.
Minnesota’s total case count includes 64,374 people who have recovered to the point they are no longer considered infection risks or are required to isolate themselves.
State health officials had worried about a lagging increase in COVID-19 deaths following rising case counts this summer in teenagers and younger adults who could pass the virus along to others at greater risks.