8-24 COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 8-24-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health held a 2 p.m. conference call Monday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 23.4 million cases since start of pandemic, 809,000 deaths
- In U.S., 5.7 million cases since pandemic impacted U.S., 176,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 70,298 cumulative cases (up 717 over previous reporting day), 735 and 725 cases reported on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
- Of the 70,298 cases, 63,059 (90%) have recovered and no longer need isolation
- In Minnesota, 1,771 total deaths (up 4 from previous day)
- Of the 1,771 deaths, 1,313 (74%) resided in long-term care or assisted living facilities
- Hospitalized in Minnesota as of today: 310; hospitalized in ICUs as of today: 135
- 7-day positivity rate is 4.9% as of Aug. 15 (one week lag period in this rate). (This is up from 4.8% a week prior)
- Two western Minnesota school districts (Minneota and Ivanhoe) had to postpone start date after initially planning to start school today due to confirmed COVID-19 case and possible exposures. It’s a “reminder of how fast things can change with this virus,” as it pertains to school planning.
MDH Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann:
- Reminds people living in multiunit residential buildings such as apartments and condominiums to wear masks in common areas.
- Mask wearing in common areas required by Governor Walz’s mask mandate.
- 27 Minnesotans tested positive – 2 employees/volunteers, 25 attendeees (24 households) – from Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally. One Minnesota was hospitalized and released after three days.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Coronavirus reinfection case in Hong Kong reported. MDH reaction? Ehresmann: “We are aware of this.” Paying attention if reinfection does happen. Trying to determine what was different with virus second time. Confirmed two separate infections from COVID-19. Intial thought that first infection provided lifelong immunity.
- “It is a little bit of a disappointment that there is evidence of reinfection,” said Ehresmann.
- Expect more analysis and data to come in future weeks.
- CDC visiting MDH for vaccine planning. Malcolm: Minnesota 1 of 5 states that is part of pilot effort to begin planning for vaccine rollout. Ehresmann: “We started by talking about some of the lessons that we learned from H1N1.” H1N1 required a new vaccine a few years ago. We don’t know quite yet when COVID-19 vaccine will be available. “It’s been a really good conversation and very much a dialogue.”
- We are talking about the role of providing the vaccine to critical personnel and vulnerable populations, added Ehresmann.
- On the logistics, “The expectation is this will be a two-dose vaccine,” she said. There will likely be several different manufacturers producing it.
- False positive results impacted Minnesota Vikings. How prevalent is this? Malcolm: The company that produced this particular saliva test for the Vikings confirmed there was contamination in its lab, she said.
- Ehresmann: “When results come into us, we know which lab their from, which day and obviously identifiers for the individual.”
- Believes the false positive issue is not a widespread problem. However, no test is 100% perfect, Ehresmann said.
- Any other COVID-19 clusters besides St. Olaf campus? Ehresmann: No, not at this point.
- George Floyd protests: 13,418 people tested, 243 tested positive. 1.8% positivity rate.
- Minnesota will not be getting the vaccine any earlier than anyone else despite taking part in pilot effort.
- Tuesday is one-month since mask mandate went into effect. What metrics using to determine efficacy? Malcolm: It’s always challenging to determine specific impacts from one mitigation measure. “We do think it does coincide with relative stabilization,” despite higher cases, said Malcolm. Determining a percentage impact will be very difficult, she said.