The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 404 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began to 26,273.
The total number of tests processed by private or state labs has reached 275,622.
MDH says another 29 Minnesotans have died of complications from the virus, bringing the total number of fatalities in the state to 1,115. Of those deaths, 896 have occurred in long-term care or assisted living settings.
Minnesota hospitals are currently treating 512 patients for complications from the coronavirus, with 244 of them dealing with symptoms serious enough to require care in the ICU.
MDH reports that 21,490 people once diagnosed with the virus have recovered enough that they no longer require isolation.
Of those who have tested positive, people between the ages of 30-39 account for the most cases, with 5,273 cases and seven deaths. Those between 80 and 89 years old account for the highest number of fatalities in one age group, at 384. That's out of 1,309 confirmed cases.
In terms of likely exposure to coronavirus, MDH says 5,956 cases involve exposure in a congregate living setting, 7,692 cases had known contact with a person who has a confirmed case, 5,693 cases had community transmission with no known contact with an infected person and 886 cases were linked to travel. Health care workers account for 1,699 of diagnosed COVID-19 cases.
MDH has prioritized testing for people in congregate care, hospitalized patients and health care workers, which may impact the scale of those numbers. However, now MDH is urging anyone who is symptomatic to be tested. Testing locations can be found online.
Hennepin County has the most cases in the state at 8,867, with 641 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 3,252 cases and 140 deaths. Stearns County reports 2,050 cases and 14 deaths.
The Minnesota Department of Health has said repeatedly that the number of lab-confirmed cases is only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to the true number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services is reporting nine additional deaths with the release of their latest case numbers Wednesday, raising the total number of deaths statewide to 616. Overall cases of COVID-19 increased by 483 since Tuesday, pushing the total of positive tests to 19,400.
Wisconsin health officials say a total of 2,700 people have been hospitalized with complications from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, 14% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus. Health officials say 3% of those testing positive have died.
Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 18% involve people between the ages of 30 to 39, 17% are between 40 and 49, 18% are between 20 and 29, and 15% are 50 to 59. An estimated 11% are between 60 and 69.
A gender breakdown reveals that 51% of COVID-19 cases are women and 49% are men.
Health care workers make up 10% of those testing positive for COVID-19.
Milwaukee County has the most cases at 8,108 with 315 deaths. Brown County has 2,350 cases and 37 deaths. Racine County reports 1,797 cases and 41 deaths.
On Wednesday, May 13, the Supreme Court blocked Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' Safer at Home order, saying the administration overstepped its authority when it extended the order to May 26.
Following the court order, some bars opened immediately while local leaders in other areas moved to keep strict restrictions in place to prevent further spread of the virus.
If Wisconsin is to have a statewide plan, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will have to work with the same Republicans whose lawsuit resulted in Wednesday's Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling. After a Thursday meeting with Evers, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said GOP lawmakers and the governor may not be able to reach agreement and that a statewide policy might not be needed.
A more detailed breakdown of cases by county can be found on the DHS website.
The first positive case of COVID-19 coronavirus in Wisconsin was reported in a patient in Dane County in early February.
The first case in Minnesota was confirmed on March 6, and the second case was confirmed March 8. The third was confirmed March 10, an Anoka County resident in their 30s, who was reported to be in critical condition.
"When we have identified community transmission, that means we know that the number of cases that we are reporting is fewer than actually exists," said MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann. "We know we are going to see spread in Minnesota, and we knew we were going to have community transmission. Our goal continues to be to slow down the spread of this disease so that our health care systems and our infrastructure are better able to address it."
The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about COVID-19 at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. The hotline will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
MDH has a hotline for school and childcare questions: 651-297-1304
MDH maintains a regularly updated webpage with "Situation Updates," including the status of "persons under investigation" who are being tested. MDH also has a larger COVID-19 coronavirus information page, with links to additional facts and resources about coronavirus.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services also keeps this page updated with numbers of tested cases, and those that tested positive, along with more information for Wisconsin residents.
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