• 14°

Walz says Minnesota will report a record 56 COVID-19 deaths

MINNEAPOLIS  — Minnesota health officials will report a record 56 new deaths from COVID-19 when they release updated figures Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz said.

Walz told Minnesota Public Radio the daily report will also show positivity rates above 20%, an important measure of how fast the disease is spreading. The 7-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Minnesota has nearly doubled over the past two weeks from just under 7% on Oct. 27 to nearly 13% on Tuesday, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.

The governor made the comments a day after warning Minnesotans that the state is approaching the worst phase of the pandemic and that conditions will get dramatically worse unless people start changing their behavior. He said it won’t be unusual for people to open their newspapers and see 50 to 60 new deaths.

“This is just inevitable if we do not change our behaviors and take some mitigation efforts, this will continue to spike.” Walz told MPR.

Minnesota’s previous record was 36 deaths, reported on Friday.

The governor on Tuesday announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the accelerating spread of the coronavirus. Bars and restaurants must stop serving at 10 p.m., but can still offer takeout and delivery, and attendance at weddings, funerals and social gatherings will be limited.