MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Health on Thursday reported 7,228 new cases of the coronavirus, shattering the single-day record set just last week by more than 1,000 cases as the virus continues its unrelenting spread throughout the state.
Minnesota health officials reported 39 deaths on Thursday, second only to the 56 deaths reported the day before. The state has now had 201,795 total cases and 2,793 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
As communities all over the country experience outbreaks in recent weeks, Minnesota ranks ninth in the country for new cases per capita with 982.4 new cases per 100,000 people in Minnesota over the past two weeks, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
The continued case growth has state officials and health care workers concerned about hospital capacity as hospitalizations due to complications from the virus typically follow an increase in cases. According to the health department's online dashboard, 1,075 intensive care beds out of 1,387 statewide are in use by patients suffering from COVID-19 and those with other ailments, though there are 408 beds that can be made ready for use in 72 hours.
There are 1,299 people hospitalized statewide with COVID-19 related symptoms, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
A Minnesota fire department in McLeod County experienced its own staffing challenges when the department had to temporarily shut down service after 75% of its 20-person volunteer crew got COVID-19 or were exposed, FOX-9 reported. The Plato Fire Department will now rely on nearby towns to help with fire and ambulance services.