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Live Updates: Minnesota nears 100,000 mark of completed coronavirus tests

Here are the latest developments on the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Credit: KARE

Wednesday May 6

2 p.m.

Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said today is the kick off of National Nurses week and would like to acknowledge their work.

Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said they are seeing cases pop up in food processing plants.

Ehresmann then encouraged parents to stay in contact with their child's doctor to be sure they go to their well-child visits and keep up with immunizations and other health screenings.

In terms of PPE, Commissioner of Department of Administration Alice Robert-Davis said the prices of items are volatile but they have seen hospitals able to see stabilization and receive the equipment from their normal suppliers. 

Robert-Davis says current usage rate of PPE is: 9,000 face shields a day, 37,000 gowns, 93,000 masks, and 11,000 N95 respirators each day. 

Malcolm said it's possible that other states are only reporting skilled nursing facilities as long-term care facilities whereas Minnesota includes more facilities than just skilled nursing ones, which would explain why Minnesota has more deaths in that category.

11 a.m.

There are now 8,579 laboratory confirmed coronavirus cases in Minnesota. That is a jump of 728 cases in one day.

Governor Tim Walz and health officials have cautioned Minnesotans not to get alarmed, as the ramp-up of testing across the state virtually guarantees that numbers will grow at a faster rate.

Of the total positive cases, 1,146 of them are in healthcare workers. 

The state is nearing the 100,000 mark of tests completed with 93,232 as of May 6.

State officials say that 5,005 patients who were once positive no longer require isolation.

An additional 30 people died from coronavirus bringing the number of deaths to 485. According to officials, 391 of the deaths were people in long-term or assisted living facilities.

The total number of people that have been hospitalized due to the virus is 1,405. As of May 6, 443 are currently hospitalized, and 180 of them are in ICU.

Hennepin County has the most cases with 2,764, followed by Nobles County with 1,082 and Stearns with 975.

Tuesday, May 5

  • Walz signs order resuming elective surgeries
  • State projects multi-billion dollar deficit due to pandemic
  • New daily highs in hospitalizations, tests
  • Restaurants, hospitality industry sound warning bell

2 p.m.

Governor Tim Walz is signing an executive order which allows elective surgeries to resume.

Beginning next week, healthcare providers who create a plan to keep patients and providers safe can move forward with procedures.

This includes doctors, dentists and veterinarians.

“Executive Order 20-51 will allow hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and clinics — whether veterinary, medical, or dental — to resume many currently delayed procedures,” a release from Walz's office reads.

"Minnesota numbers are still going to increase, but we've changed the calculus on how we approach this with PPE and readiness," Walz said during a press conference.

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm added that healthcare providers do not have to file their plans for expanding services safely, "but they do need to have them." 

Economic conditions have dramatically weakened since February due to the coronavirus, according to officials during a press conference. The GDP, however, is predicted to go back to where it was by mid 2021.

Economic outcomes will depend on the pandemic's course, officials said.

Since mid March, 600,000 Minnesotans have applied for unemployment benefits, which is unprecedented, according to officials. Total wage income is expected to fall 5.9% in the state this year due to the pandemic.

The path of the pandemic is related to consumer confidence, which is currently low. This impacts local business leaving them with an uncertain picture, officials said.

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