8-28 COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 8-28-2020
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, 24.4 million cases since start of pandemic; 832,000 deaths
- In U.S., 5.9 million cases since pandemic began; 180,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 73,240 cumulative cases (up 862 cases over previous reporting day)
- Of the 73,240 cases, 65,204 (89%) Minnesotans have recovered and no longer need isolation.
- Median age of cases remains at 36
- In Minnesota, 1,810 total deaths (up 4 since yesterday). The 4 newly reported deaths were all age 70 and older. State reported a total of 27 deaths in the prior two days before today.
- Hospitalizations in MN as of today: 301; Hospitalized in MN ICUs as of today: 137
- Continues to stress “Lay low before you go” for college students
- Starting week of Aug. 17 (when colleges and universities started coming back), 254 cases related to MN colleges and universities. More than 200 of the cases were students, 39 staff members. Only 30 of these cases lived on campus at time of report
- 90 of those cases have been campus while infectious
- 51 colleges in MN have reported at least one COVID-19 case in last week, and 7 colleges have reported five or more cases. (There are nearly 200 post-secondary institutions in MN)
- Sturgis, S.D. rally – 46 cases linked to rally, 2 hospitalizations, including 1 in ICU. Secondary cases not included in this number. (secondary cases are those who later came into contact with infectious person who attended rally, this is known as community spread)
- Overall, “we’re seeing upticks in our numbers that are concerning,” said Ehresmann, including large events that are not following guidelines.
- 21 clusters of cases associated with parties or events in August alone.
- MDH has received 1,086 complaints to date regarding executive order violations, masking non-compliance most common
- A close contact exposure is defined as being in contact less than 6 feet apart with someone with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes.
- Anyone can develop COVID-19 from 2-14 days of exposure. Could have COVID-19 and not have symptoms. Recommend quarantine period is 14 days.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- “We continue to see a very disturbing trend of increase in cases,” said Ehresmann. Many, many more cases linked to social outbreaks (76 social outbeaks to date with 562 people affected)
- A large wedding in Lyon County and large funerals have accounted for cases, in addition to bars and and restaurants said Ehresmann.
- President Trump pledged vaccine ready by end of year. What about Minnesota planning? Ehresmann: virtual visits with CDC and Department of Defense held this week. Conversations included federal and state emergency officials, as well as pharmacies. “It’s better to underpromise and overdeliver,” on the planning. “It would be great if we’re ready by then, but don’t be surprised if we’re not either,” said Ehresmann.
- Vaccine will likely be available to long-term care and hospital workers first.
- Planning also involves having consistency between states, particularly for border communities.
- Expecting it to be a two-dose vaccine. Both doses of vaccine should be from same manufacturer. (There will be multiple manufacturers)
- Name of this project is “Operation Warp Speed.” Ehresmann thinks it would be better to name it “Operation Safe Speed.” Some of the vaccines won’t meet safety protocols. Government is taking financial risk that some of the vaccines manufactured won’t be successful in meeting safety profile.
- How to categorize college students? From where they live or in county where they attend school? Ehresmann: If it’s someone living on campus in a dorm, they will be counted in the county where they attend school.
- The Abbott lab test, how many of those coming to Minnesota? Ehresmann: Not quite sure yet. A test result only tells you only about the day you’re tested. “A negative test result is only good on day you are tested.”
- Any updates on bars and restaurants regulations? Ehresmann, we’re are stepping enforcement to make sure establishments are obeying Governor’s executive orders. Most are following federal and state guidelines, said Ehresmann.