Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Positive test rate creeps up

Published 9:09 am Monday, August 3, 2020

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MPR News Staff

The percentage of positive COVID-19 tests once again crept above 5 percent over the weekend as cases and hospitalizations continued trending upward.

Sunday’s update from the state Health Department showed 5.3 percent of coronavirus tests were positive — a troubling turn for one of the key metrics Minnesota health officials are monitoring.

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Here are the latest coronavirus statistics:

• 55,947 cases confirmed (769 new) via 1,054,962 tests
• 1,614 deaths (eight new)
• 5,241 cases requiring hospitalization
• 302 people remain hospitalized; 149 in intensive care
• 48,847 patients no longer requiring isolation
Cases growing across age brackets, up north

Worries remain about the growth of coronavirus cases among younger Minnesotans, including that those infected will inadvertently spread the virus to grandparents and other more vulnerable populations.

Minnesotans in their 20s now make up the age group with the most confirmed cases in the pandemic — more than 13,000. The median age of Minnesotans infected has been trending down in recent weeks and is now 36 years old.

Investigators continue to see rising cases with bars and restaurants at their center and are examining outbreaks in 28 establishments, Ehresmann said last week.

“Consider all the roles you play” in all daily interactions, she cautioned, noting that people who might not worry about themselves should worry about infecting vulnerable family members and coworkers.

Regionally, newly reported cases have been driven recently by the Twin Cities and its suburbs, but it’s present in all parts of the state, including the north, which had largely avoided the outbreak until recently.

Cases in Beltrami County, home to Bemidji, have more than doubled in the past week and a half, increasing to 191 as of Sunday.

Ehresmann last week said the Beltrami County case increase is tied to spread from athletic events and other public gatherings. Most of the state’s latest hot spots for the disease are in northern and central Minnesota.

Meatpacking operations had been hot spots for big outbreaks in southwest, west-central and central Minnesota earlier in the pandemic, but new cases have slowed considerably in recent weeks.