Eight COVID-19 deaths and 738 infections with the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease were reported by the Minnesota Department of Health on Friday.
The daily counts bring totals in the pandemic in Minnesota to 1,693 deaths and 63,723 lab-confirmed cases — including 56,659 people who have recovered to the point they are no longer considered infectious or required to isolate themselves.
The state reported that 313 people were hospitalized on Friday due to COVID-19, and that 152 needed intensive care due to breathing problems or other complications from their infections.
Six of the eight deaths involved residents of long-term care or assisted-living facilities. State health officials had employed visitor restrictions and universal testing of residents and staff in facilities with positive infections to drive down the number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
The share of COVID-19 deaths involving residents of such facilities has declined from 81% on June 1 to 75% now. However, outbreaks have started to increase in long-term care facilities, as workers have been infected amid the limited reopenings of bars and restaurants this summer and the resumption of larger group gatherings and events.
Many coronavirus infections result in mild or no symptoms, meaning that people can spread it to others at greater risk for severe COVID-19 without knowing it. Updated state COVID-19 dashboard data shows that 34% of recent confirmed infections came from unknown community sources, meaning that the virus is spreading beyond the ability of state health officials to track it.
The state goal is to keep that rate below 30%. It is one of five goals that Gov. Tim Walz and health officials are using to assess the pandemic response and whether restrictions needed to be added or eased.
The state is meeting its goal for its high rate of diagnostic testing but falling short of its goals on COVID-19 hospital admissions and new infections.
The state is doing better than its goal of having no more than 15% of diagnostic tests being positive for infection. However, that rate has increased from 3% in mid-June to nearly 6% now.