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Live updates: New Minnesota COVID cases jump to 4,906, 23 deaths reported

Here are the latest case numbers and trends in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Tuesday, Nov. 10 

  • Walz expected to announce early bar closing times, limits on events
  • New saliva testing site opens in Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Minnesota shattered its previous daily COVID-19 case record on Sunday
  • Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 90% effective

11 a.m.

Numbers released Tuesday by state health officials reflect another surge in COVID-19 case numbers, with a jump of nearly 1,000 over Monday.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 4,906 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours, based on the results of 34,044 tests (33,981 PCR and 63 Antigen) processed in private and state labs. Positive PCR tests are defined as confirmed cases, while positive Antigen tests are categorized as probable cases. 

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for coronavirus since the pandemic began now sits at 189,681. 

Credit: KARE

An additional 23 people have died from COVID-19, bringing fatalities to 2,698. Of those deaths 1,860, or 69% of them, are tied to assisted living or long-term care settings.

Total hospitalizations for the virus have risen to 11,933, with 2,996 of those patients needing care in the ICU. Currently, 1,224 people are reported hospitalized, with 249 requiring ICU beds. 

Credit: KARE

MDH says 153,347 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered sufficiently, and no longer need isolation. 

People between the ages of 20 and 24 make up the largest grouping of Minnesota's COVID cases by a significant margin, with 22,472 and one death. Those 25 to 29 account for 18,219 cases and three deaths, while those 30 to 34 number 16,532 cases and nine deaths. These three age categories make up the group that health officials are most worried about, saying that they are social, mostly healthy and may not realize that are carrying the virus. Sources say Governor Walz will announce at 2 p.m. Tuesday that he is moving bar closing time to 10 p.m., and temporarily banning bar service, pool and darts in an effort to slow community spread. 

The largest group of deaths involves those 85 to 89, with 494 fatalities in just 2,468 confirmed cases. 

Hennepin County continues to report the most COVID activity with 44,547 cases and 1,025 deaths, followed by Ramsey County with 18,649 cases and 413 deaths. Dakota County reports 13,322 cases and 150 deaths.

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota has the least COVID activity with just 36 cases and zero deaths since the pandemic arrived in the state, followed by Lake of the Woods County with 64 cases and one death. 

Monday, Nov. 9

11 a.m. 

Minnesota COVID-19 cases took a step back Monday, after new single-day records were set in three of the previous four days. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says 3,930 new cases were reported Monday, down from 5,924 reported Sunday. Those new cases are based on the results of 26,004 tests (25,213 PCR, 791 Antigen) processed in private and state labs. 

A positive PCR test is considered a confirmed case, while a positive Antigen test is considered a probable case.

An additional 19 Minnesotans died from coronavirus in the past day, bringing the total of fatalities to 2,675. Of those deaths 1,850, or 69% of them, are tied to long-term care or assisted living settings.

Credit: KARE

Total hospitalizations in the state are now up to 11,671 since the pandemic began, with 2,948 of those patients requiring care in the ICU. MDH says 149,766 people who at one time tested positive for the virus have recovered to the point they no longer require isolation. 

The group between ages 20 and 24 make up the largest number of Minnesota's COVID cases with 21,961 and a single death, followed by those 25 to 29 with 17,776 cases and three deaths. Add in people between 30 and 34 who account for 16,157 cases and nine fatalities, and you have the demographic that state health officials have repeatedly expressed concern about. 

On Monday during a press conference at Minnesota's newest COVID-19 saliva testing site, Gov. Tim Walz said those 20 to 34 are relatively healthy and often asymptomatic when they contract COVID-19. Walz said not knowing that they're sick, members of this socially active group then spread the virus into long-term care facilities, schools, and even bring it home to unknowingly infect older family members or those with underlying conditions. He said that cycle is responsible for the spike in Minnesota's community spread. 

The largest group of fatalities involves Minnesotans ages 85 to 89, with 490 deaths in 2,424 diagnosed cases.

Hennepin County reports the most COVID activity, with 43,570 cases and 1,023 deaths, following by Ramsey County with 18,200 cases and 407 deaths. Dakota County has 12,946 cases and 148 deaths.

Cook County in northeastern Minnesota continues to report the least COVID activity with 36 cases and zero deaths, followed by Lake of the Woods County with 65 cases and one death. 

8:45 a.m.

A barrier-free COVID-19 saliva testing site is opening at the Minneapolis Convention Center as Minnesota continues to break its daily records of new cases.

On Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reported 5,924 new cases across the state, by far the highest single-day total yet.

Gov. Tim Walz spoke about the expansion in COVID-19 testing capacity at the new testing site Monday at 8:45 a.m. 

"We have reached a very dangerous phase in the pandemic in the upper Midwest and now into Minnesota," Walz said.

He pointed out that the infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths have been breaking records almost daily. "These are preventable deaths," Walz said, urging Minnesotans to wear a mask, social distance, stay home when they're sick and get tested.

The Minneapolis Convention Center will be open weekdays from noon to 7 p.m., and weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free parking nearby. Tests are available whether you are symptomatic or not. Anyone seeking a test is asked not to eat, drink or smoke for 30 minutes prior.

Enter on the west side of the building off of First Avenue. 

MDH officials and Gov. Walz have emphasized in recent weeks that community spread in Minnesota is reaching a dangerous level.

"We want to cut off that community spread by making sure that people get tested as easily and as quickly and as close to their home as they possibly can," Walz said.

The Minneapolis location is the eighth saliva testing location to open in Minnesota.

In the next two weeks, 11 sites will be opened across Minnesota with partners at the Minnesota National Guard, and a saliva testing site will be opened at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, Walz said Monday.

Testing especially for asymptomatic Minnesotans has emerged as a key strategy of the state in controlling the community spread of the virus.

"Eighteen to 35-year-olds that are asymptomatic, that's the heart and soul of where this is spreading," Walz said. "These are healthy folks that might not even know they have it, and where they are congregating, they are acting as the spreader or the nucleus of where this is coming out of, and ... taking it into places like long-term care, like hospitals, like schools."

Walz warned that hospitals are becoming full, and it is an "inevitability" that Minnesota will see 10,000 cases per day and rising deaths if changes are not made.

"Testing is growing a lot, cases are growing a lot faster," said Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm, explaining that the positivity rate exceeds the rate of testing. "The bottom line here, this is exponential growth."

Malcolm demonstrated how the saliva test is done, adding that the process will be observed on site so it is done correctly. "It's easy, quick, and pain free," she emphasized.

When asked about the possibility of another statewide shutdown to address skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers, Walz reasoned that kind of response isn't necessarily the right thing to do right now. "Not at this time, but we are prepared to take steps," Walz said. 

The governor says if there are upcoming closures and changes, they would likely involve the places or sectors where 18 to 35-year-olds are gathering and spreading the virus. Walz insists he is not scapegoating the hospitality industry, but says by the very nature of the virus standing at a bar or sitting close to others at a table increases the risk of transmission. He also added that bar settings are not the only places where transmission is taking place. 

"In all fairness, your gathering with three or four families in your backyard, or worse, yet, in your garage for a celebration would have an equally detrimental effect," Walz said.

"We've got work to do, Minnesota, I'm imploring, especially 18 to 35-year-olds, you're not feeling sick, you don't think you have COVID, you're sick of this, you've got stuff to do... unfortunately the virus is using that as the transmission method, and where you're gathering it's going," the governor said. "If it's hitting someone else, it's going into long-term care facilities, it's going into schools, it's going to your elderly family members, or those with underlying conditions."

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's Department of Health Services (WDHS) reported 7,073 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases statewide to 278,843.

Health officials reported 66 new deaths Tuesday as the total number of fatalities statewide goes up to 2,395. The total number of fatalities is approximately 0.9% of those testing positive for the virus.  

Due to high case numbers, Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order mandating indoor face coverings that began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Evers extended the mask mandate until Nov. 21.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 Gov. Evers' administration issued a new order limiting the size of public indoor gatherings to 25% of capacity, to stem the spread of COVID-19. That order was struck down on Oct. 13 by a judge in Sawyer County. The order was reinstated on Oct. 19 by a Barron County judge, but on Oct. 23, a Wisconsin appeals court put a hold on the order.

Wisconsin health officials say a total of 13,230 people have been hospitalized from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, about 4.7% of the total number of people who have been diagnosed with the virus.  

Of the confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 21% involve people between the ages of 20 to 29, 16% are between 30 and 39, 15% are between 50 and 59, and 14% are 40 to 49. An estimated 11% are between 10 and 19, and another 11% are between 60 and 69.

As of Monday, Milwaukee County reported the largest number of confirmed cases with 51,109, along with 630 deaths. Dane County has reported 19,494 confirmed cases and 56 deaths, and Brown County has 18,244 cases and 115 deaths.

A more detailed breakdown of cases by county can be found on the DHS website.