Seventeen more people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, health officials reported Friday, as new test results pushed the tally of confirmed cases to beyond 32,000.
COVID-19 has caused 1,361 deaths across the state, according to data posted Friday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health. Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities accounted for 13 of the 17 newly announced deaths.
The net count for positive test results grew by 362 confirmed cases in the past day, on a one-day volume of 14,216 completed tests.
Over the past week, the state has averaged about 319 new cases per day — significantly lower than seven-day averages in late May that at times exceeded 700 cases. Friday's one-day count for completed tests was one of the largest thus far.
A total of 339 people require hospitalization, compared with 345 at Thursday's data release, the Health Department said. The latest numbers show 168 patients required intensive care, compared with 171 ICU patients on Thursday.
Daily tallies for hospitalized patients in Minnesota have been trending down in recent weeks. The declines come as doctors have reported promising results on medication treatments, although it's not clear if there's a direct link in Minnesota.
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that surfaced late last year. Since the first case was reported in Minnesota on March 6, a total of 3,748 people have been hospitalized.
People at greatest risk from COVID-19 include those 65 and older, residents of long-term care facilities and those with underlying medical conditions. The medical conditions range from lung disease, serious heart conditions and cancer to severe obesity, diabetes and kidney patients who need dialysis.
Numbers released Friday show health care workers have accounted for 3,327 cases statewide. A total of 27,709 Minnesotans who were infected with the novel coronavirus no longer need to be in isolation, up from 27,566 people at Thursday's data release.
Confirmed cases have been reported in 86 of the state's 87 counties, with no cases in Lake of the Woods County in far northern Minnesota.
Most patients with COVID-19 don't need to be hospitalized. The illness usually causes mild or moderate sickness, the Health Department says, and does not require a clinic visit.
The Health Department added to its list of congregate care facilities publicly identified with at least one COVID-19 case among residents or staff, upping the total by one to 315 facilities. State officials are releasing names only for facilities with at least 10 residents.
This week, the Health Department also started allowing outdoor visits for residents at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities under strict new guidelines.
Numbers published Friday morning cover the 24-hour period ending at 4 p.m. Thursday.