• 36°

Daily COVID-19 update: No new cases in Freeborn County, but state death count high again; active cases top 10K

By Minnesota Public Radio and Albert Lea Tribune

 

A day after reporting 29 COVID-19 deaths — the highest single-day death count in months — Minnesota health officials returned Thursday with an equally grim statistic — 19 more deaths. The two-day total is the worst for the state since early June.

Thursday’s Health Department numbers also showed active, confirmed cases of the disease have for the first time topped 10,000, a strong signal the pandemic is far from over.

The agency added 1,169 newly confirmed or probable cases to the state’s total, extending a more than a weeklong trend of new cases averaging more than 1,000 a day.

The confirmed and probable new cases reported Thursday brought the total in the pandemic to 117,106 cases to date; about 90% have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.

The confirmed and probable new cases reported Thursday brought the total in the pandemic to 117,106 cases to date; about 90% have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.

‘Highs are getting higher’

Officials had anticipated seeing an October surge in cases expected from Labor Day weekend gatherings, sporting events and college student meetups at the start of fall semester. They also expected the wave would put more people in the hospital. That appears to be happening.

While the spike early in the pandemic was driven largely by illnesses tied to long-term care facilities and workplace sites such as meatpacking plants, officials say the current spread is diffused, making it even harder to trace and isolate cases.

While daily new case confirmation numbers have ebbed and flowed over the past seven months, “the lows are getting higher and the highs are getting higher,” Kris Ehresmann told reporters Wednesday.

She described the current situation as an “escalating roller coaster,” adding, “I would not say that we have reached any sort of peak at this point.”

The positive test rate trend remained above 5 percent, the threshold where officials become concerned.

State officials this week unveiled plans to massively expand COVID-19 testing opportunities across Minnesota as active caseloads remain at record highs and hospitalizations continue to climb.

Collectively, Minnesota will soon be able to process 60,000 tests per day, officials said, about twice what it’s managed on its best days to date.

“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 told reporters Tuesday. “To not do these things will guarantee that others get it.”

 

Local cases

There were no new cases reported in Freeborn County Thursday, keeping the county’s total at 597. Of those 597 cases, 28 are considered active and one remains hospitalized. 

Faribault County reported four new cases, bringing its total to 193; Mower County reported one new case and has now had 1,454 total cases; Steele County also reported one new case and has had 669 cases; Waseca County reported four new cases and has had 885 total cases.