Situation Update for Tuesday, Sept. 29

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 817 new COVID-19 cases today and five new COVID deaths, bringing the state’s case total to 98,447 and a death toll of 2,020.

Of those deaths, 1,449 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of those cases, 10,361 were health care workers.

Over 2.017 million tests have been completed since late March, with over 15,200 completed yesterday. The state has averaged around 20,000 tests per day over the last week.

To date, 88,380 COVID patients have been released from isolation.

MDH no longer keeps a record of daily COVID hospitalizations, but the data table indicates no new COVID patients were admitted into ICUs, and six new COVID patients were admitted to non-critical hospital settings Monday, Sept. 28.

The 20-24 age group continues to hold the lion’s share of the state’s COVID infections, at 13,434 cases and one death.

MDH reported no new cases for Beltrami County today, but local public health officials say they added 17 new infections today, bringing the active COVID-19 cases in the county to 79.

“We do see a cluster associated with a wedding,” said Cynthia Borgen, Beltrami County Public Health Director, in a message.

“We have had cases in local schools, but don’t see any evidence of transmission occurring in our schools.”

There have been reports from Bemidji Area Schools last week of COVID-19 cases at Bemidji High School and at Gene Dillon Elementary School.

There are seven COVID patients hospitalized in Bemidji, but Borgen said two of those are Beltrami County cases and the other five are from other counties. Today, 250 COVID-19 tests are pending. MDH’s cumulative case count for Beltrami County remains at 450 with five deaths.

A free testing event is scheduled for Bemidji today through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m. at the Bemidji Armory. No insurance is required. Pre-register for an appointment to avoid long wait times here.

MDH reported three new COVID-19 cases in Cass County, bringing their total to 186 with four deaths; five new cases in Itasca County, bringing their total to 352 with 15 deaths; and three new cases in Roseau County, for a total of 126 cases.

Itasca County has seen the death of a younger resident due to COVID-19.  An area woman in her 50s was taken by the disease in the last several days, as cases in the county continue their rise and its COVID death toll increases to 15.

“We are seeing some bright spots, but deaths like this remind us how deadly the virus is,” said Kelly Chandler, Itasca County Public Health department manager.  “Our condolences to her family, friends and all who grieve.”

Itasca County cases have been rising since late August, said Chandler.  In partnership with the state health department and others, local public health and health and human services staff hosted a testing event in Grand Rapids on Sept. 23.  Of the 907 persons tested, 15 tests were positive (a 1.6% positivity rate, lower than the state average).


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