The death toll from COVID-19 has reached 301 in Minnesota, where state health authorities on Tuesday reported another 15 fatalities from the infectious disease that is caused by a novel coronavirus.
A single-day record of 365 lab-confirmed cases was reported Tuesday as well in Minnesota, where officials believe a statewide stay-at-home ordered has limited the spread of the virus. The total case count is now 4,181, doubling the amount that had been reported 11 days ago. Some health officials feared a doubling of cases at this exponential stage of the pandemic every couple of days.
Testing activity increased as well, though it remains short of the 5,000 per day that Gov. Tim Walz wanted in play by May 4, when a statewide stay-at-home order is scheduled to end. There were 2,561 molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19 reported on Tuesday, bringing the state total to 63,829.
Walz was scheduled to visit Mayo Clinic in Rochester Tuesday along with Vice President Mike Pence, and to participate in a roundtable about COVID-19 response strategies. The governor is expected later this week to announce whether he will allow the statewide stay-at-home order to expire, or if he will amend or extend it.
The order was designed to reduce face-to-face contact and disease transmission by 80% to buy time for hospitals to prepare. As of Tuesday morning, the state reported that 314 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized and that 120 needed intensive care. Among all lab-confirmed patients, 1,912 had recovered and were no longer required to isolate themselves to avoid spreading the virus to others.
COVID-19 continues to be harshest on the elderly and people with underlying health problems. The median age of death is now 83, and the majority of fatalities have involved residents of long-term care facilities.
Widespread testing in Nobles County due largely to an outbreak among workers in the JBS pork plant in Worthington has identified 477-lab confirmed cases.