Daily COVID-19 update: Freeborn County records first COVID-19 death
Published 12:03 pm Thursday, July 16, 2020
Freeborn County has now had one death from COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Thursday.
Freeborn County Public Health Director Sue Yost said the person, who was in their 80s, was originally living in Freeborn County when first hospitalized but had been discharged at some point to a different county. The person died in May in that county and had been listed under that county’s total deaths, until the state corrected that Thursday. It was determined that because the person was originally a Freeborn County resident, they are being moved back to the Freeborn County list, a press release stated.
“It is with great sadness that we are reporting our first death of one of our Freeborn County residents,” Yost said. “The reality of how serious this disease is shows how important it is to follow the recommendations of hand-washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer, social distancing of at least 6 feet, wearing face masks, especially when indoors and outdoors when you are not able to social distance, and stay home when you are sick.”
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While the virus does not discriminate, she said, most of Freeborn County’s cases have been with people between the ages of 20 to 39. Individuals over the age of 65 and people with chronic health conditions continue to be at higher risk of severe illness.
With the individual being moved back to the county’s list, Freeborn County has now had 317 cumulative cases since the beginning of the pandemic. No other new cases were reported Thursday in the county.
The public health department said there are presently 20 active cases in Freeborn County, and one person is currently hospitalized.
The following are the increases and cumulative case totals for other area counties:
- Faribault: three new cases, 67 cumulative cases
- Mower: three new cases, 996 total cases, two deaths
- Steele: eight new cases, 274 total cases
- Waseca: one new case, 83 total cases
Statewide, there were 611 newly reported cases on Thursday, increasing the state’s cumulative case count to 44,347. Of that number, 38,290 people are out of isolation and 249 are hospitalized, including 103 in intensive care, a total last seen April 16 in the early weeks of the pandemic.
The department reported eight new deaths statewide from Dakota, Hennepin, Koochiching, Ramsey, Scott and Winona counties. All were 60 or older, and four were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities.
The department stated there have been 1,526 COVID-19 deaths across the state since the beginning of the pandemic, of which 1,179 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Minnesota’s daily death toll has been mostly in the single digits for more than three weeks as part of another slow decline.
There were 14,812 new tests completed, increasing the total tests completed to 805,212 since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the COVID-19 Tracking Project, the state’s positivity rate — an important measure of whether the spread is accelerating — has inched up from 3.4% two weeks ago to 4.3%. And the trend in new cases has been rising, from 422 on a seven-day rolling average two weeks ago to 523, with 611 new cases reported Thursday.
Gov. Tim Walz is considering whether to impose statewide masking requirements, and whether to reopen schools this fall, continue with distance learning, or some hybrid of the two. Republican legislators tried unsuccessfully this week to rescind the emergency powers Walz has used to respond to the pandemic.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths
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