7-20-2020 COVID-19 Update from the MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 7-20-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health held a conference call Wednesday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 14.5 million cases (since pandemic began), 606,000 deaths
- In U.S. 3.83 million cases (since pandemic began), 143,000 deaths
- In Minnesota – 47,107 confirmed cases (since pandemic began), up 922 cases over previous reporting day, highest single day total since start of pandemic. “That’s an alarmingly high daily total,” said Malcolm. However, some of this new total could include corrections due to switch over the weekend to new data management system. Not all the cases fully vetted. “Conversion went smoothly,” she said.
- In Minnesota – 1,545 deaths, up 4 since previous reporting day
- MDH reports first child death from COVID-19, (child was nine months old in Clay County). Until now, no one has died in the 0-19 age grouping. “We’re not going to be sharing more about this case” to protect privacy of family. CDC will do additional analysis on child death, says Malcolm. “As we understand it, this is one of the youngest deaths reported in the country to date.”
- Children have also been hospitalized due to COVID-19 during pandemic, some of them required intensive care.
- MDH reports at least 13 cases of multisystem inflammatory system in children (MIS-C). MIS-C is a condition that affects multiple organs in kids and appears tied to earlier infections with the novel coronavirus.
- Age 20-29 grouping has most number of positive cases (10,865 – 23% of all confirmed cases)
- Hospitalized as of today in MN: 247; Hospitalized in ICU as of today: 115
- Testing volume 14,287 yesterday (again, Governor’s testing ‘moonshot’ goal was 20,000 per day).
- 12.9% increase in testing volume. 8.6% increase in newly confirmed cases. Malcolm says ratio of cases to testing indicates more people percentage wise testing positive.
MDH Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann:
- Over the weekend, MDH migrated to new data management system to accommodate more cases. Combines lab and case data into single system, says Ehresmann.
- This will “help streamline our work,” she said.
- This is a system that internal and external partners routinely use, said Ehresmann.
- With this change, “we’re finding ourselves in choppy waters as it relates to our data,” she said.
- Number of cases reported today, some still in the queue from Sunday due to new data migration system.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- What will CDC additional analysis provide on child death? “An infant death is devastating,” said Ehresmann. “We want to make we’re understanding as much as we can.” Specimens collected here will be sent to CDC for further evaluation. Not to say analysis here was insufficient.
- Child did not have underlying health condition, said Ehresmann.
- Dept. of Public Safety announced today it’s going to bars and restaurants to issue citations for lack of compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Are we coming closer to closing bars and restaurants to curb spread of COVID-19? Malcolm: “It’s always a topic of ongoing conversation.” No specific recommendations yet.
- Any more details on child death? Ehresmann: child had respiratory symptoms, inflammation in upper air waves. Symptoms you might expect from COVID-19. Child was not hospitalized. Most child exposures to COVID-19 tend to occur in the household.
- “This is very rare” said Ehresmann when looking at statistics. “There is a lot we don’t know,” when it comes to COVID-19.
- Uptick in cases in 30s, 40s, 50s, in addition to people in 20s. Can you explain that? (Median age of cases is now 37.) Ehresmann: We’re seeing uptick in activity among people, more interaction, can help explain uptick. We’re seeing impact of broader gatherings, not social distancing like they could.
- Mask mandate do much to impact cases at gatherings? Malcolm: The mandate, if there would be one, would help reinforce severity of situation. Masks do help reduce transmission, said Malcolm. Increased data on benefits on masks.
- More details about COVID-19 and kids. Ehresmann: Transmission has typically been adults who brought COVID-19 to the setting, such as in household or in child care. Less child to adult transmission. “We’ve seen fewer cases in kids.” “We don’t really know the underlying, long-term impact of a COVID infection on an individual.”
- How will this impact school decision expected any day now? Malcolm: The child death serves as a harsh reminder that bad outcomes can occur with this disease, even in age groups with less risk. We need to keep all the data in context as we look at school decision.
- Ehresmann: nasal culture from child tested positive for COVID-19, cause of death was upper and lower respiratory tract infection.
- More retailers requiring customers to mask up. Does that weaken need for statewide mandate? Malcolm: we do believe that value would be added if a mandate is required. Would help eliminate confusion statewide, if one is ordered. “Local action builds momentum,” said Malcolm. Governor is considering it – Walz encouraging legislative branch to take action. Malcolm would not divulge if a mandate is forthcoming.