Another 94 deaths due to COVID-19 were reported by state health officials Friday, the second-highest daily total of the pandemic.
Among the deceased was a person above the age of 100. Six of the people who died were under the age of 60, including two in their 30s.
Minnesota now has seen 4,292 fatalities from the new coronavirus and is on pace to surpass 5,000 deaths by the end of the year.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 3,773 new cases Friday, bringing the pandemic total to 370,968.
A total of 58,497 test results were reported to state health officials, a one-day increase of 40%.
An estimated 327,509 of those who tested positive are considered to be no longer infectious and don't require isolation.
Nevertheless, some of them don't completely recover. Known as the "long-haulers," they experience a wide variety of symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, headaches, mood changes, anxiety and difficulties with thinking.
"This is something that we are very concerned about," state epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said Thursday. "Some of us have gone on to have these lingering symptoms that impact their quality of life."
The medical community hasn't yet come to an agreement on how to diagnose or even characterize these lingering symptoms, which makes it difficult to quantify how many people are affected, Lynfield said.
It could be caused by an overactive immune response to the coronavirus infection, she added. But it has been seen in many different COVID-19 patients.
"The higher risk is among those who had more severe disease," said Lynfield. "We are hearing more and more of those who had a mild illness do develop ongoing symptoms."
The number of COVID-19 patients receiving hospital care in Minnesota has decreased slightly, with 343 getting intensive care and 1,118 in non-ICU beds. The number of beds in use for COVID-19 patients altogether showed a one-day decrease of 5%, according to a state dashboard.
Still, 91% of all beds in the state are in use due to many medical conditions and emergencies. Shortages can still happen if hospitals run out of workers to staff the beds due to illness or high-risk exposures to those with COVID-19.
"Our hospitals statewide are very full not only with COVID patients but with other very important health conditions as well," Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Thursday.
Most who develop serious COVID-19 complications have underlying health conditions, including heart, lung or kidney disease.
In St. Louis County, where an average of 185 new COVID-19 cases were reported daily in November, officials said Thursday they have yet to see signs of a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases due to residents gathering for the holiday. The county reported 96 new cases of the virus on Thursday.
"As we get farther away from Thanksgiving, we're a bit optimistic because we're seeing our numbers decrease," said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County's public health division director. "If we were to have seen a lot of transmission during the holiday weekend of Thanksgiving, it most likely would be showing up now or very soon."
After a "fall surge," Westbrook said St. Louis County has seen its number of daily cases start to decline. Officials said they hope that trend will lead to fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
"But we're not seeing that right now," she said.
Staff writer Katie Galioto contributed to this report.
Glenn Howatt • 612-673-7192