9-23 COVID-19 Update from MN Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 9-23-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health will hold a conference call today to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 31.6 million cases of COVID-19 since start of pandemic; 971,000 deaths
- In U.S., 6.8 million cases since pandemic began; 201,000 deaths
- In Minnesota, 92,100 cumulative cases (up 690 over prior reporting day)
- Of the 92,100 cases, 83,507 (91%) no longer need isolation
- In Minnesota, 1,985 total deaths (up 6 deaths)
- The 6 new deaths by age group: 1 in 60s, 1 in 70s, 2 in 80s, 1 in 90s, 1 in 100s. 3 lived at a long-term care or assisted living facility. 3 of the people who died lived in Hennepin County.
- Hospitalized in MN as of today: 303; Hospitalized in MN ICUs as of today: 148
- Hospitalizations are increasing, said Malcolm.
- 7-day positivity rate is 4.6% (decrease from 4.8% a week prior). Below 5% threshold for 12 consecutive days now, but number of regions around state are above that.
MDH Director of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Kris Ehresmann:
- Funeral in Martin County on Sept. 9 directly linked to 33 COVID-19 cases. 150-200 people attended. MDH expects more cases to come. Some funeral staff infected as well. Many of the attendees did not observe social distancing and masking.
- “This incident points the need for a layered approach in protection,” said Ehresmann. “COVID is a disease that tends to do its worst when people congregate in crowds.”
- CDC put guidance out on Halloween.
- Hospitalization capacity data collected by State Emergency Operations Center
- Hospitalization data will shift to better reflect severity of the cases
MDH Medical Director Dr. Ruth Lynfield:
- Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome – MIS-C, 25 children diagnosed with this syndrome in Minnesota since May, including 2 cases in September. This syndrome is thought to be associated to the novel coronavirus. Fortunately none of these children remain hospitalized and no deaths in Minnesota, said Lynfield.
- 88% of children had a positive test for COVID-19 or positive antibody test. Others had known exposure.
- 68% were previously healthy
- age range 6 months to 16 years old (median age is 4)
- 76% of MIS-C cases are either Black or Hispanic children, mirroring nationwide trend, said Lynfield.
- Fever, gastrointestional issues, rash, red eyes and excessive fatigue are symptoms of MIS-C. This is a rare condition.
Q&A Session and Notes:
- Certain number of cases or percentage needed to dial back in-person learning? Malcolm: “There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.”
- Ehresmann: We have regional teams working with schools around the state. “It really varies by situation,” said Ehresmann on the learning model appropriate for each district.
- “We’re very concerned about what we’re seeing with the data,” said Ehresmann. Concerned about high rate of community transmission (35% of confirmed infections coming from unknown community sources).
- “It won’t be too much longer until we really have difficult decisions to make or many schools have difficult decisions to make,” said Ehresmann.
- “This is really a time for all of us to work together,” said Lynfield.
- Transmission about hand-to-hand contact? Surface transmission? Cleaning surfaces? What is the update here? Lynfield: “We do think that if a surface that has a lot of contamination on it, and someone touches their mouth, their eyes, their nose, there certainly is a possibility for transmission.” “Having said that, most transmission is within 6 feet,” said Lynfield.
- On large group events: Ehresmann: “They are a large driver of what’s going on.” These events are “efficient means of transmission.”
- Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services (CMS) has put out new guidance for long-term care facility visitation. MDH reviewing that.
- Early on, 80% of deaths associated with long-term care facilities. Now that number is closer to 50%.