Situation Update for Tuesday, Aug. 18

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 359 new cases of COVID-19 today, and nine new COVID-related deaths, bringing the state’s total to 66,061 cases and 1,721 deaths.

Of those deaths, 1,287 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of those cases, 7,351 were health care workers.

Over 1.273 million tests have been administered with over one million people tested. Yesterday, between MDH and external laboratories, over 7,000 tests were completed.

To date, 59,568 COVID patients have been released from isolation.

Total hospitalizations are back over 300 today, with 154 patients in ICU wards across the state.

MDH reported two new COVID cases in Cass County today, bringing the total to 83 with three deaths; one new case in Itasca County, total of 150 cases with 12 deaths; and one new case in Roseau County, total of 57 cases.

Dr. David Wilcox of Sanford Health gave the Bemidji School Board a COVID-19 presentation before they made their decision on back-to-school.

Wilcox said that as of yesterday, Sanford Health has processed 8,000 tests since the end of March, with 284 positive cases (though, not all those cases are Beltrami County), 16 hospitalizations, five patients needing ICU care and one patient death.

These figures roughly followed the initial thinking that with COVID-19, 80 percent would recover at home, 15 percent would need hospitalization, five percent would need critical care and one percent would die.

Wilcox explained that the models that predicted a peak around Labor Day emphasized the need to flatten the curve.

Wilcox said he would not recommend mass testing before school started, because tests are only accurate at the time they’re taken.


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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