Twenty-two more people have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota, health officials reported Saturday, including a Ramsey County resident age 20 to 29 — the youngest pandemic victim thus far in the state.
COVID-19 has caused a total of 1,170 deaths across the state, according to data posted Saturday morning by the Minnesota Department of Health. Residents of long-term care accounted for 14 of the 22 newly announced deaths.
Most deaths in Minnesota, including 16 of those announced Saturday, have been among people 70 or older.
The count for positive test results grew by 521 confirmed cases statewide. That’s a relatively small number compared with many recent Saturday reports — another sign that case counts in Minnesota seem to have hit a plateau for now.
On Friday, Gov. Tim Walz announced restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 would be reduced again next week, with limited resumption of business for indoor restaurants, swimming pools, movie theaters and fitness clubs.
A total of 473 people require hospitalization, compared with 478 on Friday, the Health Department said. There were 206 patients in the ICU, compared with 220 in intensive care on Friday.
After concerns grew in May about growing demand for intensive care in the Twin Cities, state officials say they now see encouraging signs for hospital capacity.
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 3,336 people have been hospitalized.
People at greatest risk from COVID-19 include those 65 years 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 Minnesota’s confirmed case count of 27,501 grew from Friday’s tally of 26,980 cases. As of Saturday, health care workers account for 2,932 cases statewide.
A total of 22,253 Minnesotans who were infected with the novel coronavirus no longer need to be in isolation, up from 21,864 people at Friday’s data release.
Most of Minnesota’s 87 counties now have known cases, although it’s still the case that none has been confirmed in Cook and Lake of the Woods counties.
The state completed about 11,144 tests during the most recent 24-hour period for data collection.
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 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 282 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.