Health officials revealed during a Tuesday press conference that nursing home residents account for slightly more than 70 percent of all COVID-19-related deaths in Minnesota.
Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann said during a Tuesday press briefing that 113 of the state’s 160 deaths “are associated with long-term care.”
“While yes, it is the case that a significant number, a majority now, of deaths are associated with long-term care residents and the elderly in general, it’s important to track the fuller picture of all the cases and all the hospitalizations,” Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm added. “The long-term care residents actually make up a much smaller percentage of all cases hospitalized.”
She said there are a lot of Minnesotans in the hospital, including in intensive care units, who are in “very serious condition” and aren’t “associated with long-term care.”
There are now more than 90 nursing homes throughout the state that have been exposed to COVID-19 by either a resident, staff member, or visiting service provider.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, Minnesota’s number of COVID-19-related deaths increased by 19 from 160 to 179. That’s the most deaths the state has experienced in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic.
The vast majority of counties in Minnesota haven’t experienced any deaths from the coronavirus. Hennepin County leads the state in both confirmed cases (1,073) and deaths (113), and is the only county in the state with more than 20 deaths.
State Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said in a statement that Gov. Tim Walz’s COVID-19 model shows little variation in “projected mortality outcomes” between a two-week and six-week stay-at-home order.
“In comparing these two scenarios, the model shows little difference in top ICU demand and mortality,” she said. “However, scenario 3.2 allows our economy to re-open significantly earlier than the governor’s current path. The economic pain people are feeling is real, and we need to take reasonable steps to protect the livelihoods, mental health, and rights of Minnesotans as we continue to prepare our COVID response.”
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