Coronavirus hospitalizations in Minnesota hit a new high Monday, just days before the state was to allow in-person religious services to resume for gatherings of up to 250 people.
And it’s less than a week a before the financially strapped restaurant and bar industries are allowed to reopen for outside service, with capacity capped at 50 guests.
However, state health officials say the new rules and other recent easing of stay-at-home measures don’t mean the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
“Large gatherings continue to present a clear, documented risk for increasing the spread of COVID-19. We continue to see pretty rapid increases in our numbers of cases and deaths,” state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Saturday. “So even though we are slowly and carefully trying to open up opportunities for Minnesotans to resume activities that are so important … this does not mean we’re on the other side of this.”
Here are the latest coronavirus statistics :
21,315 confirmed cases via 204,059 tests
2,676 cases requiring hospitalization
605 people remain hospitalized; 248 in intensive care
14,816 patients no longer needing isolation
Around 11 percent of cases are in health care workers. Just over 80 percent of deaths were of people living in long-term care or assisted living facilities.
The state continued to list nine “probable” COVID-19 deaths, which are those where the deceased had COVID-19 listed on their death certificate but had no positive test documented.
Developments from around the state
Minneapolis to require face masks in indoor public places
Starting Tuesday, people in indoor public places in Minneapolis will be required to wear a face covering.
Mayor Jacob Frey announced the measure on Thursday as the latest in a series of emergency regulations designed to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Frey said business owners will be able to refuse entry to anyone who’s not wearing a face covering. The rule would apply to indoor public places in Minneapolis, not outdoor venues.
People can call 311 to report noncompliance, the mayor said. Violations could be punished by fines up to $1,000.
“We are not criminalizing forgetfulness. We are not penalizing people for a lack of awareness. We are approaching the implementation of the policy with grace and patience,” said Frey. “We are prioritizing outreach and education.”
On Friday, Frey said that the city has purchased more than 9,000 cloth masks with money from the budgets for council members and the mayor’s office. More masks are needed, however, especially in light of the new emergency regulation, Frey said.
— Brandt Williams | MPR News
Organizers of county events across Minnesota face tough decisions: So far, about 1 in 3 Minnesota county fairs have been canceled for this summer, with more expected to follow in the wake of last week’s cancellation of the State Fair. Organizers of fairs that have not yet called off plans for 2020 are weighing the potential health risks against long-standing traditions.
Northfield pastor remembered for compassion, embrace: Craig Breimhorst was the kind of guy who would walk into a room, and within 10 minutes was friends with everyone — which came in handy when he started his own church in Faribault over 30 years ago. He died on April 16 at 71, Rice County’s first victim of the coronavirus.
Walz approval at 65 percent, most support vote by mail: The results of a new statewide poll show strong support for DFL Gov. Tim Walz during the pandemic and that most Minnesotans favor a move to voting by mail for the November election.
COVID-19 in Minnesota
Data in these graphs are based off Minnesota Department of Health cumulative totals released at 11 a.m. daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at the Health Department website.
The coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, coughs and sneezes, similar to the way the flu can spread.
Government and medical leaders are urging people to wash their hands frequently and well, refrain from touching their faces, cover their coughs, disinfect surfaces and avoid large crowds, all in an effort to curb the virus’ rapid spread.