Situation Update for Monday, Aug. 31

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 679 new cases of COVID-19 today, and one new COVID-related death, bringing the state’s totals to 75,864 cases and 1,817 deaths.

Of those deaths, 1,339 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of those cases, 8,309 were health care workers.

Almost 1.5 million tests have been completed since late March, with 1.128 million people tested. Yesterday, over 11,000 tests were completed.

To date, 67,656 COVID-19 patients have been released from isolation.

ICU hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients appear to be continuing on a downward trend, at 131 today from 136 yesterday. Today, there are 175 other COVID-19 patients in non-critical hospitalized settings.

MDH reported one new case of COVID-19 in Beltrami County today, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 321 with one death. Last Friday, Beltrami County reported they were monitoring 26 active cases, and reminded residents to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations and immunizations.

MDH reported two new COVID cases in Itasca County, bringing their cumulative total to 198 cases with 12 deaths. Itasca County issued a release about a cluster of new cases at a long-term care facility in Deer River.

The cluster, according to the release, is at Comstock Court, an independent senior apartment complex in Deer River that’s owned by Essentia Health.

MDH also reported two new COVID cases in Cass County today, bringing the total to 105 with three deaths; one new case in Hubbard County, total of 45 cases; and one new case in Koochiching County, bringing their total to 88 cases with three deaths.

COMPLIANCE CHECKS

Minnesota Departments of Public Safety, Health and Labor and Industry alerted the hospitality industry last Friday that establishments can expect increased compliance checks at bars and restaurants.

Teams from these departments will visit establishments each weekend, checking that they and their patrons are following federal and state guidelines for face coverings, adherence to social distancing, tables at least six feet apart, serving to no more than 50 percent capacity, reservation protocols, party size limits of four per table (or six if immediate family members), etc.  Violations could lead to fines, loss of an establishment’s liquor license or temporary closure.

In a joint statement, the departments wrote, “Most establishments are following federal and state guidelines, but it makes it difficult for them to compete or to explain to their customers when other establishments are not in compliance.  We owe it to the establishments that are following the guidelines to address these issues of noncompliance.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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