Situation Update for Wednesday, May 20

STATE UPDATES

The Minnesota Department of Health reported an additional 645 COVID-19 cases today, and an additional 29 deaths.

According to their daily update, the cumulative total since the outbreak started was 17,670 cases and 777 deaths. Of those deaths, 635 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. As of today, 2,025 health care workers were confirmed to have the disease at some point over the course of the outbreak.

To date, 12,227 have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated. Over 167,000 tests have been administered as of today. There are currently 550 hospitalized for COVID-19, and of those, 212 are in the ICU.

Gov. Tim Walz will address the state in the daily briefing at 3 p.m. today. Walz is anticipated to announce a plan on easing restrictions on salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, and dine-in services at restaurants and bars.

As restrictions ease, public health officials are still encouraging safety measures such as wearing masks when out in public, maintaining six feet of distance from others, washing hands often and well, and sanitizing frequently touched surfaces often.

Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association, which is described as a “union dedicated to advocating for nurses, patients and quality care in Minnesota” and neighboring states, testified before a House Committee Tuesday.

According to a release, nurses planned to alert state representatives on the state of supplies of PPE, such as the use of outdated or insufficient PPE and retaliation by hospitals on employees trying to protect themselves and their families.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm addressed the PPE concerns raised during the testimony later Tuesday during the daily media briefing.

“A lot of the facilities are still conserving personal protective equipment. We’re aware of situations where staff are asked to keep a mask and use that mask multiple days, things of that nature,” said Malcolm.

LOCAL UPDATES

MDH reported an additional COVID-19 case in Itasca County today, bringing their total to 50 with six deaths. Beltrami County is still being reported at nine cases by MDH, but Beltrami County Public Health director Cynthia Borgen has said that seven of those are currently living in this county, and six of those have recovered.

Cass County is showing 11 cases with two deaths, Clearwater County has had two cases for a number of weeks and Koochiching County has had five cases.


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.


© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area