Twenty-four more people have died from COVID-19 in Minnesota, state health officials reported Saturday, including a Hennepin County resident in their 40s who died with no underlying health conditions and was not a resident of long-term care.

Congregate care residents and those with troubled health histories have accounted for most of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota thus far. The statewide toll is now 395 deaths, according to data posted Saturday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health.

“We express our condolences to the families and friends of those who died,” Jan Malcolm, the state Health Commissioner, said in a statement. “We continue our work along with many partners around the state to protect Minnesotans and prevent additional deaths.”

All but three of the new deaths reported were residents of long-term care facilities, the Health Department said. Long-term care residents account for about 80% of deaths in the state.

The number of known COVID-19 cases increased from 5,730 to 6,228.

A total of 389 people currently require hospitalization, compared with 369 on Friday, the Health Department said. There are 135 patients in the ICU, compared with 118 intensive care patients Friday.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus that surfaced in China late last year. Since the first case was reported in Minnesota on March 6, a total of 1,159 people have been hospitalized, up from 1,096 on Friday.

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.

Health officials say the reported case county in Minnesota dramatically understates the number who’ve been infected and sickened in the state. While limited testing supplies has made it impossible to precisely document the spread, state officials announced earlier this month a significant boost to the supply of testing.

Numbers released Saturday show there are now 2,397 patients in the state who no longer need to be in isolation, up from 2,282 patients the day before. The approximate number of tests completed stands at 79,007, up from 74,829 at Friday’s data release.

Grant County became the 81st county in the state to see a confirmed case of COVID-19.

The median age for all cases is 48, and the median age for all those who have died is 83.

The Health Department said the likely exposure for 28% of the state’s known cases is community transmission. Congregate living staff or residents account for 22% of confirmed cases, while health care staffers represent 7% of known cases.

The Health Department added to its list of congregate care facilities being identified with at least one COVID-19 case among a resident or staff, upping the total from 125 to 127 facilities. State officials are releasing names only for facilities with at least 10 residents.

White residents account for 42% of the state’s known cases and 68% of deaths. Black Minnesotans account for 15% of confirmed cases and 5% of deaths.

Race is unknown or missing for 27% of cases and 24% of deaths, according to the Health Department.

This is developing story. Check back for updates.


Twitter: @chrissnowbeck