Situation Update for Tuesday, May 19

STATE UPDATES

The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting 665 newly reported cases and 17 newly reported deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 17,029 positive cases and 748 deaths.

Of those deaths, 608 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. As of today, 1,949 health care workers are confirmed to have had COVID at some point.

To date, 161,835 tests have been completed, and 11,540 have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated. There are currently 545 hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms, and of those, 229 in ICU.

GOV. WALZ

Yesterday was the first day of the next phase of Minnesota’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: “Stay Safe MN.” According to a release, friends and families can gather in groups of 10 or fewer, as long as safety measures are taken, such as washing hands, wearing masks and staying six feet apart.

Shops across Main Street and other retailers were able to reopen, as long as they had a social distancing plan and operate at half capacity.

At-risk Minnesotans, such as those with underlying health conditions and who are over 65, are encouraged to continue self-isolating.

LOCAL UPDATES

MDH reported a new case of COVID-19 in Cass County today, bringing their total to 11 with two deaths. MDH is still showing Beltrami County at nine cases, but Cynthia Borgen, Beltrami County’s Public Health director, said earlier that seven of those actually live here, and six have recovered.

Itasca County, according to a release from their public health director, Kelly Chandler, is encouraging everyone to wear a mask when out in public as the numbers of positive COVID cases and COVID-related deaths continue to rise.

As of Monday at 5 p.m., Itasca County confirmed a total of 50 COVID-19 cases, with six deaths total.

“We all would like to believe that Itasca County residents are safer this week than last week, that the governor allowing the stay at home order to expire means that we can go back to normal.  But we are not done with this thing yet,” said Chandler.

“By staying at home, Minnesotans bought some time for us to prepare to take care of those who are sick,” said Chandler.  “For example, we have seen a slow rise in the need for ICU beds, rather than a surge.

“As society opens back up, we will continue to see our neighbors, friends, even ourselves continue to battle this virus.  Sometimes we will have to fight for our lives.  Itasca County facilities are ready.”

 


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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