8-14 COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 8-14-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health will hold a 2 p.m. conference call Friday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
MDH Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann:
- Globally, 20.9 million cases since start of pandemic; 760,000 deaths
- In U.S., 5.26 million cases since pandemic began; 167,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 63,723 confirmed cases since first known case in March. (up 738 cases since yesterday)
- Median age of cases has remained constant over the last several weeks: 36.0
- Of the 63,723 confirmed cases, 56,659 people have recovered and are no longer considered infectious.
- In Minnesota, 1,693 total deaths (up 8 deaths since previous reporting day).
- Of the 8 newly reported deaths, 6 lived at long-term care facilities.
- Hospitalizations in Minnesota: 313; Hospitalized in MN ICUs as of today: 152
- Minnesota’s 7-day testing positivity rate is nearly 6%, up from 3% in mid-June.
- Ehresmann says everyone needs to do their part to give Minnesota students a reasonable chance to do in-personal learning this fall
- Uses the motto “lay low before you go” referring to students. Stay at home with family members, don’t mix with others for 14 days before going to school, Ehresmann said. “This is a bad time to throw a party or go on a group road trip.”
- Epidemiologists continue to hear of big house parties that are contributing to spread to COVID-19.
- Those getting tested should remain in quarantine until they find out results.
MDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield:
- Warns about hand sanitizers containing methanol and 1-propanol. Both are toxic and potentially life-threatening alcohol when ingested, she said. Some hand sanitizers mislabeled or contaminated with these ingredients.
- FDA-approved hand sanitizers: https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-updates-hand-sanitizers-consumers-should-not-use
- Poison Center in MN have received 50 calls for hand sanitizer ingestion, mostly young children.
- Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Slow down in testing? Ehresmann: there had been some challenges, but MDH says symptomatic people remain at top of the list to get tested. Turnaround time is much longer at national labs. Mayo Clinic, for instance, much quicker – 48-72 hour turnaround.
- 1,493 long-term care facilities have had at least one case of COVID-19. Many of them (67%) have gone the last 28 days without cases.
- Why difference in Minnesota (nearly 1,700) and Wisconsin (about 1,100 cases)? Ehresmann: Minnesota made an effort with aggressive testing in long-term care facilities. Partially explains difference, she said. Court struck down guidance from WI Gov Tony Evers, but municipal jurisdictions picked up the slack. Lynfield notes Minnesota doing better than Michigan, Illinois in case data.
- Wisconsin 16.3 deaths per 100,000
- Minnesota 28.7 deaths per 100,000
- Illinois 60.9 deaths per 100,000
- Michigan 62.3 deaths per 100,000
- Any colleges you worried about it? Ehresmann: some bar outbreaks followed in places where there are colleges: (Mankato, U of M near Dinkytown, St. Cloud, Duluth, Bemidji). But no college in particular, she said.
- Does 14-day stay-at-home recommendation for college students really have chance to reduce transmission given how mobile they are? Ehresmann: we’re hoping colleges will give students guidance and students will minimize the virus being brought to campus.
- “The bottom line is students will really decide how successful this is and students will decide whether or not they have to close down and send everybody home again,” said Ehresmann.
- Would recommend 14-day stay-at-home before school for high school students as well.
- Ehresmann: being outdoors is much better for gatherings. The challenge is when we get into winter.
- How many cease and desist orders have gone out to businesses for not upholding mask mandate? Ehresmann: don’t have exact numbers yet. State officials try to work with businesses first. But state also has a duty to enforce mandate to make sure places aren’t willfully violating order, which puts others in danger. Just like food safety requirements are not optional, so is enforcing COVID-19 health mandates.
- Any subsequent cases from northern MN rodeo? (Background: one person attended event who was infectious) Ehresmann: yes, one additional case.