87 dead, intensive care count jumps across the state
No new cases reported in Freeborn County
Minnesota officials on Wednesday reported 87 deaths tied to COVID-19, up eight from Tuesday, as the number of people in intensive care jumped to 93, up from 75. Nearly 200 people are hospitalized.
The total count of positive tests for the disease since the pandemic began hit 1,809, with just over half recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.
State officials are expected to brief reporters at 2 p.m. on the continuing efforts to slow the spread of the disease so it does not overwhelm the state health care system.
The new numbers come a day after Minnesota officials made it clear that the economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic is falling heavily on women and people of color.
Nearly 452,000 Minnesotans — about 14 percent of Minnesota’s workforce have applied for unemployment in recent weeks, according to Steve Grove, the state’s employment and economic development commissioner.
Nearly 26% of the nonwhite labor force is seeking unemployment help, compared to about 12 percent of the white labor force. Of the total applicants, 55% are women.
“The scope and scale of this is stunning,” Grove said.
Among the other updates posted Wednesday by the Health Department:
- The latest deaths include six in Hennepin County, with one each in St. Louis and Clay counties counties.
- 71 of Minnesota’s 87 counties have at least one confirmed case, up one from Tuesday, with Norman County seeing its first positive test.
Officials on Tuesday said nearly every one of Minnesota’s deaths involved people with underlying health problems and most involved people who had been living in long-term care settings.
Walz has signaled the state planned to move into a more aggressive posture to test for COVID-19 and trace and isolate those infected as part of the next phase of reopening parts of the economy.
Minnesota has tested a little more than 40,000 people for COVID-19 since the pandemic began. But before the state begins returning to normal, Walz said he was aiming for some 5,000 tests per day or 40,000 a week. Walz said he was pushing to get the more aggressive testing regimen ramped up by May 4, when his current stay-at-home order is set to expire.
Walz on Tuesday acknowledged the growing frustration of Minnesotans over the need to stay out of most public spaces to check the disease. He said he was sick of it, too, but that it was still necessary. “I wish I could say it’s magically over … but that will kill people.”
Confirmed Minnesota COVID-19 cases
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More than 1,750 residents from Freeborn County have applied for unemployment insurance since March 15 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according... read more