Seven COVID-19 deaths were reported by Minnesota health authorities Tuesday along with 1,150 newly confirmed infections with the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease.
The additions bring Minnesota’s totals to 2,151 COVID-19 deaths and 114,574 known infections amid a pandemic that is showing signs of broadening across the state.
A record pace of COVID-19 diagnostic testing in Minnesota is increasing the number of known infections reported each day, but all of the supportive data suggests a real and growing spread of the virus, said state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
“Despite what we wish was the case, COVID-19 is still a big and growing problem in Minnesota.”
Thirty-eight percent of Minnesota’s lab-confirmed infections over the past week have come from unknown community sources, which is above the state goal of no more than 30% and an indication that the virus is spreading beyond the state’s ability to track it.
The state’s pandemic response dashboard also showed that 481 beds in Minnesota hospitals were filled with patients who had COVID-19. That includes 134 people who needed intensive care because of breathing problems or other complications from their infections.
Most infections with the SARS-CoV-2 virus produce mild or no symptoms. Minnesota’s case count includes 102,624 people who have recovered to the point that they are no longer infectious or required to isolate themselves.
Age and chronic health conditions remain key risk factors for more severe COVID-19 illness. The seven deaths reported Tuesday all involved people 70 or older — who make up more than 80% of Minnesota’s total COVID-19 deaths. Five of the people who died lived in their own private residences while two lived in long-term care or assisted-living facilities.
State health officials urged people to wear masks in public, practice social distancing, wash their hands and stay home when sick. New infections continue to be among the highest in the nation in the neighboring Dakotas and Wisconsin.