Updated: 11:35 a.m.

Minnesota reported 1,704 extra confirmed COVID-19 circumstances on Saturday — down from Friday’s file excessive, however nonetheless the second-largest single-day case enhance up to now throughout the pandemic.

Testing additionally decreased, extra so than the case depend — which means the positivity charge for checks in Minnesota elevated barely. The seven-day common optimistic check charge is at 5.6 %, simply above the 5 % determine that’s a key threshold in coverage selections by state leaders.

Meanwhile the state reported 5 extra COVID-19 deaths on Saturday — 4 in non-public residences, one in a long-term care facility. That snapped a streak of three straight days with double-digit demise tolls, although the weekly common variety of deaths every day stays in double digits.

Central Minnesota is seeing the biggest per-capita enhance in new circumstances, although they’re rising in all components of the state.

With COVID-19 case counts skyrocketing and deaths climbing, state public well being leaders struck a decidedly somber tone Friday, pleading with Minnesotans to shoulder extra private duty to stem the unfold of the illness.

Clearly annoyed by repeating the similar recommendation for months, officers once more implored individuals to put on masks in indoor public areas, social distance and take different measures to stem the unfold even when gathering with household and mates.

There is a “steady, inexorable spread in communities across the state” from individuals who have the virus however don’t have signs, Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm informed reporters. “It’s just critical that people take this seriously … these are preventable illnesses.”

Latest on COVID-19 in MN: ‘Deeply nervous’ by the pandemic’s path

Here are Minnesota’s present COVID-19 statistics:

  • 2,217 deaths (5 new)

  • 121,090 optimistic circumstances (1,704 new), 106,774 off isolation

  • 2,477,132 checks, 1,661,351 individuals examined

  • 5.6 % seven-day optimistic check charge

“I’m very saddened and I’m deeply worried about today’s numbers, but I’m not surprised,” Malcolm mentioned Friday, noting that Minnesota’s surge is beginning to look extra like the rampant unfold tearing via Wisconsin and the Dakotas.

Officials ticked off a spread of issues about the present state of the pandemic, together with uncontrolled unfold in communities throughout Minnesota and the rising numbers of well being care employees contracting the illness exterior of their workplaces, employees that then change into sidelined and briefly unable to supply look after others.

New COVID-19 related deaths reported in Minnesota each day

New COVID-19 associated deaths reported in Minnesota every day.

“We are seeing COVID at high numbers across the state in multiple locations,” mentioned Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious illness director, describing it as the “ripple effect” from circumstances in late summer season and early fall that continued to unfold and escalate into the fall.

Active, confirmed circumstances this week topped 10,000 after which rose once more Friday and Saturday to a different file in the pandemic, a part of a stretch that’s seen greater than 1,000 circumstances a day for 10 straight days, and 13 of the final 17.

New COVID-19 cases per day in Minnesota

‘Highs are getting higher’

Officials had anticipated seeing an October surge in circumstances anticipated from Labor Day weekend gatherings, sporting occasions, school pupil meetups and different casual affairs at the begin of fall semester.

They additionally anticipated the wave would put extra individuals in the hospital. That seems to be occurring.

Graph of new ICU and non-ICU COVID-19 hospitalizations

While the spike early in the pandemic was pushed largely by diseases tied to long-term care amenities and office websites akin to meatpacking crops, officers say the present unfold is subtle, making it even more durable to hint and isolate circumstances.

Daily new case affirmation numbers have ebbed and flowed over the previous seven months. However, “the lows are getting higher and the highs are getting higher,” Ehresmann informed reporters earlier in the week, describing it as an “escalating roller coaster.”

The optimistic check charge development stays above 5 %, the threshold the place officers change into involved.

Percent of COVID-19 tests to come back positive

State officers just lately unveiled plans to massively broaden COVID-19 testing alternatives throughout Minnesota as energetic caseloads stay at file highs and hospitalizations proceed to climb.

Collectively, Minnesota will quickly have the ability to course of 60,000 checks per day, officers mentioned, about twice what it’s managed on its greatest days till Friday, when the Health Department reported 44,500 checks accomplished.

“The biggest thing we can do to ensure our kids have an opportunity to be in school, that our businesses and restaurants remain open, is to simply follow the science around masking, around social distancing, getting tested,” Gov. Tim Walz informed reporters Tuesday. “To not do these things will guarantee that others get it.”

Case counts rising throughout ages teams

New circumstances are up dramatically over the previous month in all age teams. That features a regarding rise in the variety of new circumstances amongst Minnesotans ages 60 and older. It’s not clear what’s behind these will increase.

People in their 20s nonetheless make up the age bracket with the state’s largest variety of confirmed circumstances — greater than 27,000 since the pandemic started, together with greater than 15,400 amongst individuals ages 20-24.

New Minnesota COVID-19 cases by age, adjusted for population

The numbers assist clarify why specialists stay notably involved about younger adults as spreaders of the virus.

While much less prone to really feel the worst results of the illness and find yourself hospitalized, specialists fear youth and younger adults will unfold it to grandparents and different weak populations and that unfold might hamper makes an attempt to reopen campuses fully to in-person instructing.

The variety of excessive school-age youngsters confirmed with the illness has additionally grown, with greater than 11,000 complete circumstances amongst youngsters ages 15 to 19 since the pandemic started.

Cases surging exterior the Twin Cities metro space

Regionally, central, northern and southern Minnesota have pushed a lot of the latest enhance in new circumstances whereas Hennepin and Ramsey counties present a few of the slowest case progress in the state.

Central Minnesota circumstances are leaping relative to its inhabitants. It’s not clear why. Northern Minnesota, as soon as by far the area least affected by the illness, has additionally seen its caseload develop dramatically in latest weeks.

Collectively, rural areas of Minnesota proceed to report the most new COVID-19 circumstances.

New COVID-19 cases by Minnesota region

Early on, many Minnesotans thought COVID-19 can be solely a Twin Cities metro space drawback, however now the greatest issues are occurring exterior the suburban and concrete components of the state.

“The hottest of our hot spots are outside the metro area,” Ehresmann mentioned final week.

MN counties with the fastest per-capita growth in COVID-19 cases

The six Minnesota counties with the quickest per-capita progress in COVID-19 circumstances

David H. Montgomery | MPR News

Latino, Indigenous circumstances soar

In Minnesota and throughout the nation, COVID-19 has hit communities of coloration disproportionately onerous in each circumstances and deaths.

Minnesotans of Hispanic descent are testing optimistic for COVID-19 at about 5 instances the charge of white Minnesotans. They, together with Black Minnesotans, are additionally being hospitalized and moved to intensive care items at greater charges than the general inhabitants.

Similar tendencies maintain true for Minnesota’s Indigenous and Asian residents. Counts amongst Indigenous individuals have jumped in the final week.

New COVID-19 cases per capita by race

Friday’s numbers additionally present newly confirmed circumstances persevering with to speed up amongst Latino individuals in Minnesota.

Distrust of the authorities, along with deeply rooted well being and financial disparities, have hampered efforts to spice up testing amongst communities of coloration, notably for undocumented immigrants who concern their private data could also be used to deport them.

Developments round the state

Curbs eased for long-term care facility visits

Minnesota well being officers on Monday put out new steerage to ease visiting guidelines for nursing houses and different long-term care amenities in the state.

Visitors should now be allowed if the long-term care facility has not had a COVID-19 publicity in the final 14 days. Another requirement for opening nursing houses is that if there’s low to medium virus transmission in the county.

There are exceptions if there’s a cheap or medical security trigger to not open, akin to staffing points.

The new guidelines go into impact Saturday. They are being launched to align with new federal suggestions. Visitors nonetheless should schedule their time with the amenities, be screened for signs and put on masks.

Long-term care settings have lengthy been a deep concern for the state’s public well being authorities. Among the 2,180 who’ve died from COVID-19 associated problems in Minnesota, about 71 % had been dwelling in long-term care or assisted dwelling amenities; almost all had underlying well being issues.

Officials had positioned extreme visiting restrictions early on in the pandemic, hoping to stem the unfold of the illness. They’ve additionally acknowledged the psychological toll that takes on residents and their households.

— Peter Cox | MPR News

Officials tweak information reporting

The Health Department on Wednesday additionally unveiled new adjustments to the method it studies information on circumstances and deaths. Health authorities have begun reporting the outcomes of antigen checks, a extra speedy type of COVID-19 check, together with the outcomes from the extra conventional COVID-19 check recognized by its initials PCR.

The company mentioned it made the transfer so its reporting would align with federal steerage. Antigen testing had been comparatively small previous to this, so the change to earlier case counts gained’t be dramatic.

The state, although, is now including to the COVID-19 demise toll individuals who died after having had COVID-19 confirmed by an antigen (speedy) check however not a PCR check. That added six individuals to the state’s demise toll Wednesday on prime of 23 newly reported deaths.

Even with out the statistical tweak, it was nonetheless the highest variety of day by day deaths reported since mid-June. The soar follows related spikes Wisconsin, which reported 34 deaths in its Tuesday report. North Dakota set a brand new file for day by day deaths final week at 24.

— MPR News Staff

More free testing websites open this week

The Minnesota Department of Health and native officers are providing one other spherical of free COVID-19 testing websites round the state this week.

Testing will likely be out there Friday afternoon at New Hope Baptist Church in St. Paul.

For extra particulars on instances and testing places — and to join an appointment — go to the MDH web site.

State well being officers additionally introduced that they opened a second COVID-19 saliva testing web site this week, in Winona. The state opened its first saliva testing web site in Duluth late final month.

Health Department officers say they’re attempting to be proactive as COVID-19 circumstances proceed to surge round the state. They say that they are particularly involved a couple of rising unfold of the coronavirus all through larger Minnesota.

Saliva testing will likely be out there to anybody who needs it or thinks they want it. So way over 7,000 individuals have accomplished saliva testing at the first web site in Duluth. State officers plan to open as many as eight extra websites throughout the state in the coming weeks.

The Winona testing web site will likely be open 5 days per week, from Wednesday via Sunday. Find extra data right here.

— MPR News Staff

Top headlines

Minnesota jobless charge falls to six %, however fewer in search of jobs: Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment charge dropped sharply final month to six %, down from 7.4 % in August, however that lower was due principally to a big dip in the variety of individuals in search of work, state officers mentioned.

Amid pandemic, Minnesota snowbirds ponder whether to remain put or go south: The pandemic is forcing some snowbirds to reevaluate their winter plans. One Minnesota couple is gearing up for his or her first winter in the state in 10 years.

National Guard tapped to fill staffing hole at Austin care facility: Staffing issues at Austin’s Sacred Heart Care Center began close to the finish of August, with the drawback getting worse and worse over the course of a number of weeks till the facility wanted assist having sufficient care employees.

Judge blocks Wisconsin governor’s indoor capability limits amid spike in COVID-19 circumstances: The guidelines issued final week restricted indoor public gatherings to not more than 25 % of complete occupancy limits. The state’s Tavern League argued the caps would successfully put its members out of enterprise.

COVID-19 in Minnesota

Data in these graphs are based mostly on the Minnesota Department of Health’s cumulative totals launched at 11 a.m. day by day. You can discover extra detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department web site.

You make MPR News attainable. Individual donations are behind the readability in protection from our reporters throughout the state, tales that join us, and conversations that present views. Help guarantee MPR stays a useful resource that brings Minnesotans collectively.