10-16 COVID-19 Update: Cases Reach New One-Day Minnesota Record
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 10-16-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health held a conference call Friday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
October 16, 2020 COVID-19 Update
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 39 million cases since start of pandemic; 1.1 million deaths
- In U.S., 8.02 million cases since pandemic began; 218,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 119,396 confirmed cumulative cases (up 2,297 cases over prior reporting day)
- The 2,297 cases set new daily record, a 50% increase over previous record high of 1,516 cases last Saturday. However, case record came on 44,398 tests, the state’s highest one-day volume
- In Minnesota, 2,212 total deaths (up 13)
- 7 of the 13 newly reported deaths occurred at long-term care facilities
- Testing volume up 65% since early September.
- 7-day case positivity rate at 5.3% (up from 5% from last week). At 5% or above for 18 straight days now.
- Believes increase in cases attributed to asymptomatic community spread. “It spreads when you don’t know it,” said Malcolm. Community spread, which is transmission of unknown origin, is at all-time high.
- “I’m very saddened and, frankly, deeply worried about today’s numbers, but I’m sadly not surprised,” said Malcom.
- 12 of past 16 days, case counts over 1,000
- Hospitalizations also on the rise: 461 people in hospital currently, 137 in Minnesota ICUs.
- Due to testing demand, saliva PCR testing begins Tuesday in Brooklyn Park.
MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann:
- On Health care worker transmission and exposures: number of high-risk exposures (high risk is without full protective equipment) has increased monthly since June.
- Increases coming in social or household exposures with health care workers.
- Health care workers as likely to transmit to coworkers than to patients.
- One health care worker incident that led to many frontline worker cases involved a wedding
Hennepin Healthcare CEO Jennifer DeCubellis:
- “We’ve gotten better at managing the disease, but we haven’t conquered it,” said DeCubellis.
- Health systems across the state are partnering with each other and the Minnesota Hospital Association to provide better care. Haven’t seen this nationally.
- “The number of beds, the number of rooms has not been our biggest concern,” she said. “The biggest concern has been that COVID-19 is a preventable illness and we’re not doing well enough in Minnesota to protect each other.”
Q&A Session and Notes:
- On possibility of dialing back in public spaces: “If folks follow the guidance that is in place,” Malcolm said, it can work. “This is an ongoing conversation.”
- DeCubellis: Most hospital systems had to pull beds offline due to staffing shortages.
- On return time on testing: Malcolm says longer turnaround times with national labs, 5-6 days. Saliva testing sites, including Brooklyn Park site, meant to decrease turnaround times. Minnesota opening Oakdale lab this fall (expected opening in November) to process 30,000 saliva tests per day.
- This isn’t just certain settings, or one type of establishment, it’s everywhere, said Malcolm, citing COVID fatigue. Family gatherings a big part of the spread, people letting their guard down.
- Number of Somali staff working at MDH to help East African community.