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Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Schools likely closed for the year

There’s a “relatively slim” chance of Minnesota school buildings reopening this year, Gov. Tim Walz said, calling it a “heartbreaking” situation for families and students, especially those in the 2020 graduating class.

His announcement came as state officials continued scrambling to find medical and laboratory supplies as COVID-19 continues sending more Minnesotans to the hospital.

The latest numbers from Thursday:

742 positive cases via 22,394 tests
18 deaths
75 people in the hospital; 38 in intensive care units
373 patients recovered
47 is the median case age
25-98 is the age range for cases requiring intensive care
31 percent of cases caused by community transmission
At least financially, coronavirus patients could get some relief. Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley told reporters Thursday that the participating plans — including Blue Cross, HealthPartners and Medica — have agreed to waive in-network cost-sharing for treatment of COVID-19 at least through May.

“If you get sick with COVID-19, your focus should only be on getting better and recovering,” he said “You shouldn’t have to worry about getting a bill that could ruin you financially, especially during this difficult time.”

The health plans have not committed to cover sharing costs for out-of-network service but the Commerce Department continues to talk with them about it, Kelley added.