Updated 9:44 am
About 100 cases of COVID-19 were reported in 20-year-old Minnesota residents who said they went to bars in the south-central part of the state on June 12 and 13, according to health officials.
The state Department of Health did not say exactly where or which bars led the group. However, on Thursday morning, officials from Blue Earth County, which includes Mankato, recognized an increase of 91 cases since June 20, with almost all sufferers in the age range of 19 to 25 years.
Despite some hopeful trends in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, Minnesota officials now fear that many people, especially young adults, are not doing enough to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 as they return. to social spaces.
While these youth are likely to be less likely to experience COVID-19 complications, the concern is that they may be spreading the disease without realizing it to grandparents or other vulnerable populations.
Kris Ehresmann, the state’s director of infectious diseases, pleaded with all Minnesotans to wear masks and stay away from others while in indoor social spaces on Wednesday. “I don’t want to suggest that we don’t want people to have fun. The concern is whether there is overcrowding. “
Wednesday’s data continued to show a slowing death rate, and the first time since mid-April that the state reported four consecutive days of single-digit deaths. The number of people hospitalized and in intensive care continued to decrease as well.
Here are the latest coronaviruses. Statistics:
33,763 cases confirmed through 529,643 tests
3,897 cases requiring hospitalization
340 people remain hospitalized; 160 in intensive care
29,707 patients no longer need isolation
State officials have been encouraging people who participated in the protests following the murder of George Floyd to get tested for COVID-19. The Health Department has offered free tests in Minneapolis and St. Paul for the past two weeks.
While officials have been encouraged that positive cases are less than 2 percent, suggesting that a rapid spread of the disease stemming from the protests is not happening in the way officials feared, tests have revealed some marked racial disparities.
Ehresmann said the two-week results of that test showed large differences in the rates of positive results for COVID-19. She said the positive rate for whites was 0.2 percent, but it was 1.3 percent for blacks, 7.4 percent for Latino populations, and 5 percent for people of Asian descent.
People of color made up 40 percent of those tested, but 90 percent of positives.
Ehresmann said the data reinforces his agency’s concern about racial disparities “due to differences in the rates of underlying health conditions and the risk of occupational exposure.”
Meat packing hot spots remain
Many of the outbreaks outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area focus on meat packing plants. Officials have stepped up testing at those hot spots, uncovering more infections.
That includes Mower County in southeast Minnesota, where there were 828 confirmed cases as of Wednesday.
Mower County is the home of Hormel Foods and Quality Pork Processors. Both have partnered with Mayo Clinic to increase employee testing.
While some of the positive cases in Mower County are associated with people who work on the premises and with the people they live with, county officials say they are also seeing transmission among people who live in the county but who work. in other counties where coronavirus is present.
Health officials conducted a COVID-19 test in Austin, Minnesota, over the weekend.
Nobles, in southwestern Minnesota, reported 1,635 confirmed cases Wednesday. About 1 in 14 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in the county, though only a few additional cases have been reported in the past few days.
Worthington’s massive JBS pork processing plant was the epicenter of the Nobles outbreak. The JBS plant closed on April 20, but has since been reopened with expanded hygiene measures and health monitoring.
Similar problems have been reported in Stearns County, where cases of COVID-19 linked to two packing plants, the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant in Cold Spring and Jennie-O Turkey in Melrose, soared in May.
An undisclosed number of workers at both plants have tested positive for the virus. There were around 55 confirmed cases in Stearns County in early May. As of Tuesday, confirmed cases were 2,140 with 19 deaths.
Kandiyohi County, in west central Minnesota, is also seeing cases continue to rise for more than a month after officials at the Jennie-O turkey processing plant said some employees tested positive for the coronavirus. The county had confirmed three COVID-19 cases at the time.
As of Wednesday, the Health Department reported that 561 people have tested positive in the county, the same as Tuesday.
Cases have also increased dramatically in Cottonwood County (126 cases), home to a pork processing plant in Windom, and in Lyon County (279 cases), around a turkey processor in Marshall.
Masks will be required at St. Cloud State University this fall
St. Cloud State University will require that masks be worn in its campus buildings this fall.
The university announced this week that it will require face covers for all students, faculty, and staff in its buildings, at least for the fall semester beginning August 24. St. Cloud State will offer a combination of in-person and online classes this fall.
Jennifer Super, director of the school’s emergency transportation and preparedness services, said the decision should provide some clarity and comfort for people returning to campus this fall.
“I think it provided answers for people who asked, ‘Are we going to do [masks] required? “Super said. “It sets the tone for the fall that the safety of our students and employees is number 1.”
Super said the details are still being worked out, but the policy will likely apply to buildings, classrooms, shared offices and outdoor areas where social distancing is difficult to practice.
St. Cloud State’s approach differs from that of the University of Minnesota, which strongly recommends but does not require masks.
– Kirsti Marohn | MPR News
St. Paul’s council leans toward approving tenant protections this summer: With financial pressure from the growing COVID-19 pandemic for many Minnesota families, the City of St. Paul is considering new protections for tenants.
COVID-19 in Minnesota
The data in these charts is based on the running totals of the Minnesota Department of Health published at 11 am daily. You can find more detailed statistics on COVID-19 at Department of Health website.
Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets, coughs, and sneezes, similar to how the flu can spread.
Government and medical leaders urge people to wash their hands frequently and well, refrain from touching their faces, covering their coughs, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding large crowds, all in an effort to curb the rapid spread of the virus.