7-29 MN COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 7-29-2020
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 Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann:
(Note: MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm not on call)
- Globally, 16.7 million cases since pandemic began; 660,000 deaths
- In U.S., 4.3 million cases since pandemic began; 149,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 52,947 confirmed cases since the first known state case in March (an increase of 681 cases since prior reporting day).
- Keep in mind cases are usually from at least two weeks prior – because of time it takes for symptoms to show up and people to get tested and receive results
- Weekly average case growth is increasing
- Median age is 36.0 for cases
- In Minnesota, 1,589 deaths since pandemic began (an increase of 9 deaths over day prior – 7 of them in long-term care)
- 77% of deaths (1,216) have occurred in long-term care or assisted living facilities
- 310 hospitalizations in Minnesota as of today (an increase of 16 since Tuesday); 143 in MN in an intensive care unit (ICU)
- The highest we’ve seen this usage, said Ehresmann, was a month ago.
- More than 13,000 tests conducted yesterday. Greater growth in testing compared to cases.
- 7-day rolling average is 4.9% testing positivity rate, which is increasing (up from 4.7% the week before).
- 83 new cases at long-term care facilities (64 involving health care workers). This is an increase from 40 day prior.
- MDH has small reserve supply of remdesivir, drug shown to help speed recovery from severe COVID-19 cases.
- Supply received since July 10 sufficient to treat more than 600 seriously ill patients.
- 336 cases on hand, each case contains 40 vials, generally takes 6-7 vials for treatment course. This means enough to treat more than 2,000 seriously ill patients.
- No Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) deaths in Minnesota so far. 15 cases in MN
- 75% of the 15 cases in Black or Hispanic children.
- Percentage disparity mirrors national data.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Is it realistic to reopen school this fall? Ehresmann: Governor Tim Walz will make announcement Thursday. “One of the reasons that we are so concerned about the rise in case numbers is because we recognize the importance of school and the value of in-person learning if it is safe.”
- On hospitalizations, Ehresmann believes it will continue to increase. “As we have feared, we are seeing our hospitalizations begin to increase. And I don’t think it’s just a blip.”
- On disparities in receiving test results. Significant delays. Some receive results in a week. Some receive them in 30 hours. Ehresmann: “It does make a bit of difference in terms of where the test is processed.” People waiting to see results should continue to quarantine.
- If there’s cases recorded in Greater Minnesota, especially resort areas, it means a resident lives there. Does not count tourists who tested positive for COVID-19. MDH lists cases by places of residence.
- Neighboring states like North and South Dakota have looser restrictions. Could restrictions be approached more regionalized in near future? “We are seeing COVID across the state,” said Ehresmann. “It’s not just in the metro area.” It’s up to the governor to determine how he wants to make the decision based on data we give him. Says MDH does look at things regionally. This decisionmaking is “incredibly complex.” Sometimes it feels like “you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” said Ehresmann.
- Are increases in ICU function of COVID-19? Ehresmann: “Summer is a time when there is more trauma happening.” More people out doing activities, however, we are concerned about rise in hospitalizations. Hospitalizations are lagging indicator, meaning it takes time to reveal the prevalence of the COVID-19 disease.
- Recommending to pull back on electives? Ehresmann: we’re continuing to watch this. “Our goal is not to make changes if we don’t have to.”
- On long-term care case increases. Ehresmann: “All of a sudden we’re starting to see big jumps in cases.” It is significant in terms of the last week, she said. Workers testing positive at multiple facilities across the state.
- “We’re continuing to see cases related to bars and restaurants,” she said. Median age for these cases are people in the 20s.
- Update on day care and child care settings? Ehresmann: “We had continued to see most of the cases coming in from staff.”
- On school-age children spreading COVID-19. Less likely to spread it as adults? Ehresmann: “We are seeing activity in the younger age groups.”
- 6,003 cases in 6-19 age group, 127 of those hospitalized.
- Children tend to do better with COVID-19, but not without some level of severity or possible complications.
- In terms of transmission, some of the studies from Asia show children more likely to get infected from adults in households, or other settings. But I don’t think we can say there’s no transmission coming from kids.