Nine more people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, health officials reported Saturday, as new test results pushed the statewide tally of confirmed cases beyond 30,000.
COVID-19 has caused a total of 1,283 deaths across the state, according to data posted Saturday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health. Residents of long-term care accounted for four of the nine newly announced deaths.
The net count for positive test results grew by 377 confirmed cases in the past day, on a one-day volume of 12,784 completed tests. Compared with much of May, the daily count for new cases being reported in Minnesota has been significantly lower in recent weeks.
A total of 390 people require hospitalization, compared with 403 on Friday, the Health Department said. The number of ICU patients held steady at 191.
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 3,581 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 Saturday show health care workers have accounted for 3,140 cases statewide. A total of 25,620 Minnesotans who were infected with the novel coronavirus no longer need to be in isolation, up from 25,028 people at Friday's data release.
The state on Saturday listed the first confirmed case in Cook County, making it the 86th of Minnesota's 87 counties with at least one case. Cook County health officials reported the county's first case earlier this week, at a time when the county sheriff said someone had tried to stop tourists from bringing COVID-19 into the county by blocking Hwy. 61.
No cases have been confirmed 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.
On Wednesday, the state launched the latest in a series of changes to reduce restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. Indoor restaurants, swimming pools, movie theaters and fitness clubs started to operate at limited capacity.
Officials with the University of Minnesota this past week announced plans for a near-normal reopening in the fall that includes classrooms, dormitories and common spaces under restrictions for social distancing.
Public health officials say the reported case count in Minnesota 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.
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 303 facilities. State officials are releasing names only for facilities with at least 10 residents.
Numbers published Saturday morning cover the 24-hour period ending at 4 p.m. Friday.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.