Twenty-four more people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, health officials reported Wednesday.

The count for confirmed cases grew to 12,917 statewide, a one-day increase of 431 cases that’s smaller than recent daily figures.

One of the newly reported deaths was a Hennepin County resident age 30 to 39 — only the second fatality in that age range thus far, according to data posted Wednesday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health.

The pandemic has caused 638 deaths across the state, the Health Department said. In addition, the state says there have been nine probable COVID-19 deaths, which means COVID-19 was listed on an individual’s death certificate but a positive test had not been documented.

Residents of long-term care accounted for 17 of the 24 newly announced deaths. Overall, deaths of long-term care residents have accounted for roughly four of every five pandemic deaths in Minnesota.

Health care workers account for 1,532 cases out of the statewide total — an increase of 96 cases over Tuesday’s report.

A total of 494 people require hospitalization, compared with 496 on Tuesday, the Health Department said. There are 199 patients in the ICU the same number of intensive care patients as of Tuesday.

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 1,851 people have been hospitalized, up from 1,799 on Tuesday.

People at greatest risk from COVID-19 include: those age 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.

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.

Public health officials say the reported case count in Minnesota dramatically understates the number infected and sickened in the state. Limited testing has made it impossible to precisely document the spread, but the volume of tests has been increasing.

Numbers published Wednesday morning cover 4 p.m. Monday to 4 p.m. Tuesday.

There are now 8,787 patients in the state who no longer need to be in isolation, up from 8,223 patients on Tuesday. The state is reporting no new counties with confirmed cases; overall 84 of Minnesota’s 87 counties have known cases. Hennepin County and Ramsey County saw the biggest one-day increases in confirmed cases.

The approximate number of tests completed stands at 122,035, an increase of about 1,200 tests since Tuesday’s data release.

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 to 177 facilities. State officials are releasing names only for facilities with at least 10 residents.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


Twitter: @chrissnowbeck