Hundreds of cases of coronavirus have been identified in Minnesota since the first confirmed case was reported March 6 in Ramsey County by the Minnesota Department of Health. Many of the laboratory-confirmed cases are concentrated in the Twin Cities metro area, though the number of cases in other parts of the state continues to grow. More than a dozen COVID-19 patients in the state have died, according to MDH. Patients in Minnesota range in age from four months to 104 years old. In about 85% of cases, the patient experiences mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization, Gov. Walz said March 25.
The Star Tribune will continue to track new confirmed cases of COVID-19 as they are announced by MDH, but these figures should not be considered an accurate count of the total number of cases in Minnesota, as health officials now consider the virus to be widespread. Some figures reported by MDH may change as it completes investigations of individual cases.
This tracker will be updated as new information becomes available, though it may lag behind news reports due to the release of incomplete information. Check startribune.com/coronavirus for the latest news. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here. Sign up for our daily newsletter with the latest on coronavirus in Minnesota at startribune.com/updates.
Health officials have identified cases in which the virus was spread by community transmission, with no ties to international travel or other known COVID-19 cases, in more than a dozen Minnesota counties. However, health officials say they believe the virus is circulating in communities across the state and all counties should be presumed to have instances of community transmission. Everyone should follow advice on community mitigation and social distancing.
Due to a nationwide shortage of COVID-19 testing supplies, MDH announced March 17 that the state's public health lab would restrict testing to health care workers, hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities. As a result, people experiencing milder symptoms will not be tested. Those with respiratory illnesses are asked to remain isolated for at least seven days after symptoms first appear or for at least three days with no fever and improved respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer. The state will rely on ongoing influenza surveillance as a proxy for whether the coronavirus is spreading, MDH officials said.
The number of tests conducted reflect those reported by MDH. On March 25, the department reported 5,110 tests completed by other laboratories, such as the Mayo Clinic. Previously, MDH did not consistently include outside tests in its totals.
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