COVID-19 Update from the MN Department of Health | 7-15-2020
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Update 7-15-2020
The Minnesota Department of Health held a conference call Wednesday to brief members of the media on the latest public health information regarding COVID-19.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm:
- Globally, 13.4 million cases, 580,000 deaths
- (Note this map shows world and U.S. situation: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
- In U.S., 3.4 million cases, 136,000 deaths (U.S. has 4.5% of world’s population, but 25% of all cases, 23% of all deaths)
- In MN, 43,742 confirmed cases (up 578); 1,518 deaths (up 8)
- One of the MN deaths was person in 40s
- Median age of cases continues to trend downward: 37.5 this week, last week 38.2, 40.5 a month ago.
- Young adults and teens (ages 29 and younger) now make up 35% of the state’s total cases, but only two of the total deaths
- Minnesota’s cases per 100,000 residents: 10.65 (7-day rolling average). A week ago it was 6.86.
- Hospitalized as of today: 254, hospitalized in ICU as of today: 106
- 10.5% increase in new cases over last week, one of the largest percentage spikes in MN since pandemic began.
MDH Infectious Diseases Director Kris Ehresmann:
- Mentioned Make A Plan MN: this helps families for planning purposes should a family member in their home get sick. Instances of parents with COVID-19 too sick to take care of children.
- MN on New York’s travel restriction list.
- Minnesotans must complete online screenings when traveling to New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, plus voluntarily quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
MDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield:
- “All of us have a role to play” to curb spread COVID-19.
- 41 states are having an increase in cases. “This is a moment for all of us to take a step back and think what we can do to slow transmission,” Lynfield said.
- “As Minnesotans we care about each other and we care about public health,” she said.
- Other countries are doing better than us, Lynfield said.
- Lynfield says by doing our part it will help our economy and small businesses. (Note: CDC director Robert Redfield mentions this too: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2768532?
- We know people are sick and tired of precautions, she said. “This is not the time for people to let up our guard.”
Q&A Session and Notes:
- M Health Fairview announced retail antibody testing option (serology testing for COVID-19 exposure). Is this a good option? Lynfield: “There are still questions about immunity and about the length of immunity.” We don’t how long immunity may last.
- Also mentioned there could be false positives and false negatives.
- Convalescent plasma used to treat patients. Lynfield encourages donors who’ve had COVID to do this. This transfers plasma from previously infected individuals to provide antibodies to patients.
- Are we getting better at treating serious cases of the novel coronavirus? Lynfield: We do have treatments now that do appear to improve the course of illness.
- “The number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities has gone down.” However, seeing more cases in young people. Concerned they may spread it to people who are more vulnerable to disease.
- Lynfield: “Sad to say, but I do expect to see increase in deaths (deaths from COVID-19 in MN) in coming weeks.”
- Any discussions around closing bars again? Malcolm: “We are very much keeping track of the data.” “We are working very closely with leaders in the hospitality sector,” said Malcolm.
- Malcolm comfortable with supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) on hand, but supply-chain issues with lab testing reagents. Supply-chain issues emerging with PPE as well.
- White House effectively cutting CDC out of reporting data. How do hospitals report testing cases? Malcolm: “Sweeping changes just made” by federal government in how data provided. “Deep concern to us.”
- “We have no insight why new data platform is necessary,” said Malcolm.
- Fed government will only supply PPE and drug remdesivir if states comply with new data platform. Malcolm says state doing this to help hospitals
- “Any hoops in sharing of data is not welcome at this time,” said Malcolm.
- Rural school districts working diligently to prepare for fall. When will it get decided on which scenario? Getting crucial to decide soon. Malcolm: this is a decision the Governor and Minnesota Department of Education will be making. MDH working closely with them.
- It’s very possible to use all three plans during year, said Malcolm.
- Three plans are: 1) In-classroom learning 2) Hybrid model 3) Distance learning only
- As Walz administration previously said, expect announcement no later than July 27
- Ehresmann: “Even people who have asymptomatic infections can have long-term sequela (complications from COVID-19).
- Mortality Rates:
- birth to age 19: none
- 20-29: .02% (2 deaths out of 10,097 cases)
- 30-39: .13% (11 deaths out of 8,256 cases)
- 40-49: .31% (20 deaths out of 6,441 cases)
- 50-59: 1.36% (78 deaths out of 5,741 cases)
- 60-69: 5.47% (184 deaths out of 3,366 cases)
- 70-79: 15.26% (287 deaths of 1,181 cases)
- 80-89: 30.82% (516 out of 1,674 cases)
- 90-99: 44.48% (391 out of 879 cases)
- 100+: 58% (29 deaths out 50 cases)