9-10 COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 9-10-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health held a 2 p.m. conference call Wednesday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
Today’s topic: Situation updates and Long Term Care
MDH Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann:
- Globally, 27.8 million COVID-19 cases since pandemic began; 904,000 deaths
- In U.S., 6.3 million cases since start of pandemic; 190,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 82,249 cumulative COVID-19 cases (up 389 over prior reporting day)
- Median age remains 35 years old
- Of the 82,249 cases, 75,425 (92%) have recovered and no longer infectious
- In Minnesota, 1,884 cumulative deaths (up 15 over previous day)
- 11 of the 15 were residents of long-term care; 1 in age 100s, 4 in 90s, 6 in 80s, 1 in 70s, 1 in 60s, 2 in 50s.
- Hospitalized as of today in MN: 257; Hospitalized in MN ICUs as of today: 138
- 4,572 tests conducted Wednesday (testing is down from Labor Day weekend)
- 7-day positivity rate 5.3% (slightly lower than last week– 5.4%)
- New York just started to allow indoor dining at 25% capacity, which has a less than 1% testing positivity rate.
- 75 cases associated with wedding in Lyon County (median age of cases is 25). Some worked in health care and education. This has been the largest transmission from a social gathering so far in MN
MDH Director of Office of Health Facility Complaints Lindsey Krueger:
- 67% of nursing homes have had an outbreak (39.4% currently with 1 or more cases)
- 31% of assisted living have had an outbreak (10.3% currently with 1 or more cases)
- Significant drop in deaths at long-term care facilities
- In April – 84.2% of total deaths
- May – 79.9%
- June -68.6%
- July – 57.3%
- August – 52.1%
- “It’s a great success to mention,” said Krueger.
- Visitor restrictions continue to remain in place, but essential caregivers now allowed
- To date, no known cases linked to an essential caregiver at a long-term care facility
- At least 127 nursing homes have implemented essential caregiver guidance (State guidance went into effect July 25)
- At least 171 assisted living type facilities have also implemented the guidance.
Kathy Merkel, Family member of a long-term care resident:
- Shared story about her mother, and how she wasn’t able to visit her mother until new essential caregiver guidance went in place at her mom’s facility in Virginia, Minn., on July 24. That was a total of 4 months with no visitation (pandemic reached Minnesota in mid-March).
- Mother couldn’t understand why Kathy wasn’t allowed into her room and only outside with window visits.
- “Our mother suffered unintended consequences during isolation,” said Merkel. Mother called in the middle of night during COVID restrictions, didn’t happen prior.
- On Aug. 24, critical visits for Merkel suspended due to outbreak at mom’s facility in Virginia, Minn.
- “It’s really hard and she’s great crying out again,” said Merkel about the restrictions.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- List of long-term care facilities with recent COVID-19 exposures. 20 new facilities reported cases for a total of 1,763.
- NOTE: Facilities may not have ongoing transmission. Facilities with fewer than 10 residents will not be listed.
- As of 7/10, facilities that have not reported a new exposure for a minimum of 28 days will be removed. If a facility identifies a new exposure, they will once again be listed.
- “A much larger proportion of our cases are occurring in health care workers rather than residents,” said Ehresmann. “That really is a function of the increasing community spread that we’re seeing.”
- 73% (1,238 out of 1,688) of facilities have not had any new cases in last 28 days.
- Congregate living settings, which include nursing homes, comprise 10,716 (13%) of the total cases.
- Transmission of no known origin makes up the most cases: 21,265
- Evidence of infections due to Labor Day weekend? Ehresmann: No, too early yet. Need at least another week to see cases (incubation period is 14 days, plus allow another 5-7 days for testing and results)
- Many of the mass community testing events have had a lower rate of testing positivity, said Ehresmann.
- Any cases associated with schools? Ehresmann: We saw some evidence, but “no large issues of concern.” (this dates back to August and summer school). No cases or issues yet since school started for many schools after Labor Day.
- “We are doing quite well” with staff conducting contact tracing, said Ehresmann. Turnaround time is within a day.
- Will MDH report cases by college? Ehresmann, yes, we’re working to establish a dashboard. We ask the institutions to report cases as well. (236 cases associated with Winona State)