As Minnesota nears its 100,000th confirmed case of COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is cautioning that the worst of the pandemic may not be over.
Earlier today, MDH announced there were 16 deaths reported in the state attributed to COVID-19 – the highest daily total in more than a month.
Patients requiring hospitalization have increased as well, reporting levels that are the highest since early June.
MDH officials have attributed the spike in cases and deaths to formal and informal gatherings among friends, families and co-workers who are not adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing. At least 75 confirmed cases in recent weeks have been linked to a late-August wedding in Lyon County. A total of 39 cases have been linked to a funeral in Martin County.
As of today’s figures, 2,036 Minnesotans have died to illnesses attributed to COVID-19. Of those, 72 percent were living in long-term care or assisted living facilities – most of whom had underlying health conditions.
The increase in the number of new cases is being found in workplace “hot spots” where the virus is being spread by co-workers in close proximity to each other. Manufacturing plants and grocery stores have been the common thread when there is a sharp increase in numbers in specific communities.
To date, approximately 90 percent of the people who have contracted COVID-19 have recovered and are no longer in quarantine. With cases currently at 99,134, it is anticipated that, at the rolling total of cases over the last few days, Minnesota will experience its 100,000th confirmed case when MDH releases its daily COVID numbers tomorrow (Oct. 1).
While deaths have been primarily found among the elderly, people in their 20s are making up the largest segment of confirmed cases. Individuals aged 20-29 have accounted for more than 23,000 positive tests for the coronavirus. People aged 15-19 have made up almost 9,300 of the cases since the pandemic started showing up in Minnesota in March. MDH officials believe these two groups – aged 15-29 – are the largest spreaders of the virus.
MDH officials are scheduled to have a media briefing at 2 p.m. today to address the latest developments. The briefing will be carried on several media platforms.