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Confirmed cases climb past 20,000 in Minnesota

As crowds lined up for a second day of free COVID-19 testing at six National Guard armories around Minnesota on Sunday, the state saw its number of confirmed cases climb past 20,000.

The death toll now stands at 869.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Sunday reported 730 more confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, for a total of 20,573. The state reported 8,471 completed tests — the second day in a row with a total exceeding 8,000.

Officials reported the deaths of 17 more Minnesotans from COVID-19; 12 of those people were residents of long-term care facilities, which have seen the majority of deaths from the disease in Minnesota.

The number of people hospitalized dropped to 553, down from a record high — 568 — in Saturday’s report.

The number of people being treated in ICUs dropped to 207, from 215 on Saturday.

About 64 percent of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Minnesota have recovered to the point where they no longer need to be isolated.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday announced new guidance for places of worship, allowing churches, mosques and synagogues to resume services starting Wednesday as along as they keep gatherings to no more than 25 percent of building occupancy.

But state health officials say those new rules — and other recent easing of stay-at-home measures — don’t mean the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.

“Large gatherings continue to present a clear, documented risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19. We continue to see pretty rapid increases in our numbers of cases and deaths,” State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Saturday at a press briefing with Walz. “So even though we are slowly and carefully trying to open up opportunities for Minnesotans to resume activities that are so important … this does not mean we’re on the other side of this.”

“I think it’s going to be very difficult over the next couple weeks. It is my belief we are going to see some pretty rough weeks when we head to that peak no matter what we do,” Walz cautioned.

Malcolm said some Twin Cities hospitals have had to start using so-called surge capacity.

“Our Level 1 trauma centers have had to activate additional beds, which is really important because we need those Level 1 trauma centers, obviously, to be able to fulfill their entire missions, and not only be full with COVID cases,” she said.

Free COVID-19 testing will continue Sunday and Monday at six National Guard armories across Minnesota.

It started on Saturday in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Moorhead, St. James and Faribault.

At the Minneapolis location, there was a line when testing started Saturday morning with wait times estimated at 2 to 3 hours. National Guard officials reported later Saturday that wait times had decreased.

“We are glad to see” the strong turnout, Malcolm said Saturday. “I know that people are waiting in lines and there’s an awful lot of demand there — and we’re learning a lot from today’s events that will help us to be even better at getting testing out into the community.”

 

Local COVID-19 cases

Faribault County: no new cases; 11 total cases

Freeborn County: two new cases (one in their 40s and one in their 60s) ; 84 total cases

Mower County: 12 new cases; 150 total cases

Steele County: two new cases; 140 total cases

Waseca County: no new cases, 24 total cases

 

Confirmed statewide cases

County Cases Deaths
Aitkin 6 0
Anoka 1,164 55
Becker 32 0
Beltrami 12 0
Benton 166 2
Big Stone 3 0
Blue Earth 112 1
Brown 11 2
Carlton 73 0
Carver 161 2
Cass 11 3
Chippewa 40 0
Chisago 48 1
Clay 366 23
Clearwater 2 0
Cook 0 0
Cottonwood 62 0
Crow Wing 42 1
Dakota 1,059 35
Dodge 43 0
Douglas 29 0
Faribault 11 0
Fillmore 17 1
Freeborn 84 0
Goodhue 52 2
Grant 2 0
Hennepin 6,918 534
Houston 2 0
Hubbard 1 0
Isanti 25 0
Itasca 52 7
Jackson 39 0
Kanabec 11 1
Kandiyohi 454 1
Kittson 1 0
Koochiching 5 0
Lac qui Parle 3 0
Lake 1 0
Lake of the Woods 0 0
Le Sueur 41 1
Lincoln 5 0
Lyon 31 0
McLeod 26 0
Mahnomen 5 1
Marshall 8 0
Martin 124 5
Meeker 42 0
Mille Lacs 16 1
Morrison 38 0
Mower 150 1
Murray 35 0
Nicollet 68 3
Nobles 1,457 2
Norman 11 0
Olmsted 551 10
Otter Tail 55 0
Pennington 7 0
Pine 85 0
Pipestone 10 0
Polk 58 2
Pope 7 0
Ramsey 2,316 97
Red Lake 3 0
Redwood 3 0
Renville 5 0
Rice 365 2
Rock 21 0
Roseau 1 0
St. Louis 111 13
Scott 346 2
Sherburne 208 1
Sibley 12 0
Stearns 1,923 12
Steele 140 0
Stevens 0 0
Swift 15 0
Todd 197 0
Traverse 3 0
Wabasha 16 0
Wadena 6 0
Waseca 24 0
Washington 506 26
Watonwan 50 0
Wilkin 11 3
Winona 77 15
Wright 240 1
Yellow Medicine 5 0
Unknown/missing 19 0