Situation Update for Wednesday, Sept. 2

The Minnesota Department of Health reported 761 new cases of COVID-19 today and attributes seven new deaths to the viral disease, bringing the state’s totals to 77,085 cases and 1,830 deaths.

Of those deaths, 1,345 were residents of long-term care or assisted living facilities. Of those cases, 8,445 were health care workers.

Over 1.525 million tests have been completed since late March, and over 1.15 million people have been tested. Yesterday, over 27,000 tests were completed between MDH and external laboratories.

To date, 69,521 COVID patients have been released from isolation.

COVID patients in ICUs across the state decreased slightly today, at 135 from 136, with 162 other COVID patients hospitalized in non-critical settings.

MDH reported six new cases of COVID-19 in Beltrami County today, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 327 with one death.

During the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners meeting, Sanford Heath and Beltrami Public Health provided the board an update on the local COVID-19 situation.

Dr. Wilcox emphasized that Sanford no longer predicts a peak, but the community will need to learn to live with COVID over the next several months.

Read more about the Beltrami County meeting here.

MDH also reported one new case in Itasca County, bringing their total to 201 cases and 12 deaths; one new case in Koochiching County, bringing their total to 89 with three deaths; and three new cases in Lake of the Woods County, bringing their total to 13.

THERAPEUTICS

Sanford Health recently announced it has initiated a Phase 1b trial of SAB-185, a first-of-its-kind human polyclonal antibody therapeutic candidate developed by SAB Biotherapeutics (SAB), that would be used to treat patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at an early stage of the disease.

The trial will enroll a total of 21 adult patients across several clinical sites. Sanford Health is the first site in the country to open the study to patients.

“Today’s milestone underscores our relentless commitment to advancing the science of medicine to ensure our patients benefit from new discoveries as quickly as possible,” said David A. Pearce, PhD, president of innovation and research at Sanford Health. “Working with SAB Biotherapeutics on this clinical trial gives us an opportunity to deliver on our promise to patients.”

“We are eager to participate in this clinical trial to investigate the safety of SAB-185, a human polyclonal antibody therapeutic candidate for COVID-19,” said Dr. Susan Hoover, principal investigator and an infectious disease physician at Sanford Health. “Our goal is to advance the science around COVID-19 so physicians can be better prepared to treat this novel coronavirus in the future, especially for our populations most at-risk.”

SAB’s novel platform, which leverages genetically engineered cattle to produce fully human antibodies, enables scalable and reliable production of specifically targeted, high potency neutralizing antibody products. This approach has expedited the rapid development of this novel immunotherapy for COVID-19, deploying the same natural immune response to fight the disease as recovered patients, but with a much higher concentration of antibodies.

“SAB is pleased to advance SAB-185, one of the leading novel therapeutics for COVID-19, into human trials and leverage the rapid response capabilities of our first-of-its-kind technology during this pandemic, when its needed most,” said Eddie Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of SAB Biotherapeutics.

SAB is a Sioux Falls-based biopharmaceutical company advancing a new class of immunotherapies leveraging fully human polyclonal antibodies. Sanford Health is committed to taking research from the bench and bringing promising new treatments to our patients’ bedside. New medical discoveries come out of hard work, innovation and research. SAB and Sanford Health are committed to developing and delivering novel solutions to overcome this global pandemic and improve people’s lives.

VACCINES

HealthPartners, according to the Star Tribune, is now accepting Minnesotans into a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Bloomington-based hospital announced today they are recruiting up to 1,500 adults for AstraZeneca’s Phase III study.

The Minnesota hospital is the fifth site in the trial to recruit participants, according to the Tribune.

This Star Tribune article has unlimited access.

DR. BIRX-White House coronavirus Task force

This past weekend, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx urged Minnesotans to double down in their efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Echoing critical public health messaging from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Dr. Birx urged Minnesotans to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid large crowds.

While in Minnesota, Dr. Birx met with Gov. Tim Walz and state public health officials.

“While Minnesotans have worked hard to slow the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Birx’s visit confirms what we already know – we cannot let up,” said Gov. Walz. “COVID-19 fatigue is real, and we are all feeling it. But with fall and winter fast approaching, Minnesotans must double down in their efforts to mask up, social distance, and protect their community.”

Dr. Birx particularly urged Minnesotans in rural areas to take additional precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“Growing up in a town of less than 300 people, I know firsthand how rural communities can feel a false sense of immunity,” Walz said. “But the truth is that COVID-19 does not respect boundaries and affects communities of all sizes. In fact, rural areas have the potential to be the hardest hit by this pandemic. I urge people across Greater Minnesota to heed the advice of White House Expert Dr. Birx and take action to keep their communities safe.”

 

 

 


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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